Penal Reform in the Republic of Armenia

Satenik Margaryan, Rutgers University

In the Republic of Armenia the political transition from a totalitarian regime to democracy has been accompanied by reforms in the criminal justice system. With the Soviet corretional legacy still influencing the Armenian penal system, the task of policy makers to reform the outdated system with more than a dozen prisons and dentention facilities seems formidable. However, with the pressure from the international community, especially from the Council of Europe, Armenia has undertaken penal reform on several levels. The main laws regulating the penal system, such as the Penal Code, the Criminal Procedural Code, and the Penal Executive Code (the former corrective labor code) have been amended or completely rewritten. In addition, the prison administration has undergone major infrastructural changes. Finally, in-service training of the penal personnel has taken place under the auspices of international organizations. This paper provides an overview of the status of penal reforms, as well as discusses the future directions of changes of penal policy in the Republic of Armenia.

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Updated 05/20/2006