The penal system in Lithuania is rather rotten and in need of radical reforms, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said after reports about new violations in the Kaunas Remand Prison.
Lukiškės prison
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"This is one of the sore spots, when it comes to the operations of the field of justice, the Prisons Department. The penal system is indeed rather rotten, sacking of certain discredited executives will not change anything. It will take radical reforms of the system, and the reforms should be implemented by people having nothing to do with the penal system, people who have not worked there, I mean strategic executives. Cosmetic measures will not solve the problem," the head of the government told Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday morning.

"Twenty-seven years (of independence), and the system embodies the Soviet penal model adapted to the Lithuanian version. Unfortunately, that is the reality," he added.

Nevertheless, Skvernelis assured that the leadership of the Kaunas Remand Prison will not succeed in sweeping the new offenses under the rug. “This definitely not end here, those trying to sweep things under the carpet are optimistic without a reason. Let me repeat it, in conversations with the justice minister we indeed demand realistic and radical changes in the penal system,” said the prime minister.

The notorious Kaunas Remand Prison, which was recently scrutinized by a few control institutions and checked by the Lithuanian Justice Ministry, has been subjected to new checks after its chief accountant Rasa Kazeniene again turned to the ministry. In her words, the prison's acting leaders are not doing anything to correct the violations and are even trying to sweep them under the carpet.

Lithuania's law-enforcement have been investigating corruption suspicions at the Kaunas Remand Prison and the Prisons Department since spring.

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