16.07.2021 | Measures are being undertaken to exclude the exploitation of the mobile phones at the penitentiary institutions and for improving the service of payphone

A study conducted by the RA Prosecutor's Office revealed that detainees of the criminal-executive institution of the RA Ministry of Justice by connecting with outside world via mobile phones committed various criminal acts, including drug trafficking, embezzlement or extortion, crimes of criminal subculture.


Aimed at giving a solution to this issues the RA General Prosecutor's Office found out in the result of studies that previously necessary mufflers were installed, but now only 3 penitentiary institutions have mufflers. However, the criminal-executive institution is not actually provided with theses mufflers for the mobile connect because of being out of order or for partial usage.


Studies show that detainees say that they want to have these mobiles to keep in touch with their family members. Though in the some cases the latter is an objective reason, but in many cases the discovery of Internet access devices in penitentiaries shows that they are mainly used to access various social networks, in some cases also to commit crimes and organize criminal activities through the use of various mobile applications.


Detainees do not use the payphones installed in criminal-executive institution because of the high cost, operational disruptions, lack of relevant cards, and the limited number of calls per week.


The study shows that by means of forbidding the usage of mobile phones in criminal-executive institution, it is possible to reduce the penalties for holding a cell phone by the detainee. It may encourage the exercise of lawful conduct by detainees and their early release.


Taking into account the above-mentioned, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia appealed to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, proposing to take effective measures to silence the mobile radio frequency channels in criminal-executive institution, as well as to find other attractive opportunities.


The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia informed that a study on the existence of radio frequency mufflers was undertaken at criminal-executive institution, their technical state and the possibility of their further use was studied, as a result of which proposals for solving the problem were developed and discussions were held with mobile operators.


It will be possible to enlarge the number of people using payphones at criminal-executive institution up to three times a week. Based on this, the central body of the criminal-executive institution will propose to the heads of criminal-executive institution to consider the issue of increasing the number of payphone users, and accordingly, to compile a new schedule. It was also informed that in order to make the prices more attractive, the penitentiary service has started negotiations with the operators.