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Deported Prisoners to Serve Time in Kosovo: Approved Treaty Paves Way for Rental of 300 Prison Spaces

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Kosovo’s parliament has approved the treaty between Denmark and Kosovo, paving the way for Denmark to lease 300 prison spaces in Kosovo.

With the approval, work can begin to prepare and adapt the prison to Danish standards. The Kosovar correctional services will also start recruiting and training uniformed and civilian staff to be assigned to the prison. The work is expected to take 21-26 months.

Kosovar prison and transport officers will, under Danish leadership, handle tasks in the prison. This means that the correctional services must provide further training to Kosovo’s personnel focusing on Danish legislation, dynamic security, and conflict management. The final training program will be defined in collaboration with the Kosovar correctional services.

The prison will have a Danish management and staff to ensure that the prison operates as a Danish facility following Danish practices and legislation, as well as in accordance with Denmark’s international obligations.

The Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman, relevant oversight authorities, and international organizations will have access to inspect and supervise the prison.

Deportees will serve their sentences in the Kosovo prison

The idea behind the agreement between Denmark and Kosovo is that deportees from countries outside the EU and EEA will henceforth serve their sentences in the prison in Kosovo. This will be done according to Danish rules for serving sentences and under physical conditions that are fundamentally similar to Danish conditions and within the framework of Denmark’s international obligations.

This entails renovating the prison and establishing new facilities, including employment and visitor facilities, as well as new security measures similar to those in Danish prisons.

“The work of preparing the prison for deportees from Denmark is a major task that involves several authorities, including immigration authorities, police and prosecution authorities, and courts. We are fully engaged in our preparations and have a good collaboration with the correctional services in Kosovo. Our task includes training the local officers and ensuring that Kosovo renovates and adapts the prison so that serving time resembles what we know from Denmark. The initiative significantly contributes to tackling the capacity and staffing challenges in corrections,” says Ina Eliasen, Director of the Correctional Services.

The Correctional Services expect that leasing prison spaces in Kosovo will help alleviate the pressure on prison spaces in Denmark. These spaces are also expected to relieve staffing challenges, as Kosovar prison officers will be the ones working in the prison on a daily basis.

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