Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Monday that he does not know whether the crime rate will rise as a result of the law on compensatory remedy, but expressed his hope that this will not happen. Likewise, the minister pointed out that damages will be paid to ex-convicts who served their sentences in improper detention conditions and who can no longer benefit from compensatory remedy.
“Some have served their sentences, are home, so then, for their previous detention in improper conditions, the European Court has merged the cases, suspended them, issued the pilot decision and is waiting the roadmap from us. Which we will present in a short while and you will see which were the measures – redeeming, compensatory, 6 days for [every] 30 days. But those with cases on the dockets, those who left the penitentiary, who served their sentences in improper conditions and have the right to damages, whether we want it or not, this is what the pilot decision and the European Court says, and we must observe this,” Tudorel Toader stated.
Asked whether, as a result of the law on compensatory remedy being enforced, a rise in the crime rate is expected, the Justice Minister responded that “the dynamic of criminality is in continuous change.”
Nevertheless, he said the parole directorates have taken extra measures to monitor those released on the grounds of this law on compensatory remedy.
“I’ll give you an example: if you have one convict who had six years to serve and he actually served five, he has the benefit of one year. Now, if he actually spent five years in the penitentiary, the lessons he had to draw from the punishment were surely drawn, with the good and the bad,” Tudorel Toader added.
“I don’t know, we’ll see, I hope there won’t be a… let’s say upward trend in the criminality rate,” the Justice Minister said.
Toader pointed out that before the law came into force he discussed with the heads of all parole directorates at the ministry headquarters: “We discussed in Bucharest, at the MJ [Justice Ministry], all the difficulties they encounter in their activity, all the measures we must take, and we will take, to improve activity. Surely, they, faced with these releases, are doing a prioritisation of measures they must take, prioritisation which includes bringing under immediate supervision those who left or are leaving prison based on the compensatory remedy.”
More than 500 convicts were released last Thursday, the day the law on compensatory remedy came into force, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Friday. He said this figure is high and has surpassed his expectations, because he did not believe “the impact would be so strong.”
“Yesterday (Thursday – editor’s note), until midnight, Mr Dobrica (National Penitentiary Administration Director Marian Dobrica – editor’s note) was texting me, telling me how many convicts were released. On the grounds of the law, by adding up the six days considered served, 529 convicts were released. I confess that’s a lot, it has surpassed my expectations. I didn’t think the impact would be so strong. But it’s the effect of the law,” Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Friday, at the start of a conference on the protection of convicts’ rights and detention conditions in Romania.
The law on compensatory remedy stipulates that for every 30 days served in improper detention conditions each convict is to have six days shaved off their sentence.