VILNIUS – The Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday moved to adopt amendments that would encourage inmates to work.
Introducing the amendments in the parliament, Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius said it would no longer pay for inmates not to work following the adoption of the proposed package.
"We have two key goals: to reduce reoffending as currently 62 percent of people are reoffenders and we are leaders in the European Union in that respect, and also to promote the employment, education and work of convicts," the minister said.
Lawmakers gave their unanimous initial backing to the proposed amendments and they will now go to the parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs and Social Affairs and Labor for further consideration.
Jankevicius pointed to the fact that many people are now released from prison having lost their working skills or lacking them completely. They reoffend and return to correction facilities, thus finding themselves in a vicious circle.
"To avoid that, we propose a new employment package that would encourage inmates to work. Only by working and taking part in resocialization programs, convicts will be able to expect incentives like meetings with family members, calls, and the possibility to shop in shops inside the facility," the minister said.
The amendments would also create opportunities for employing convicts outside correctional facilities through the introduction of a clearer motivation system that would encourage inmates to work.
Figures from the Ministry of Justice show 41 percent of convicts are engage in some working activity at corrections facilities in Lithuania.