The draft changes to the prison service with amendments are sent back to the committee

The Sejm, with a dozen amendments, again referred to the Justice and Human Rights Commission the government’s draft amendments to the Prison Service Act.

On Thursday, the Sejm held its second reading of the amendment to the Prison Service Act. establishment of the Internal Inspectorate of the Prison Service, which will be responsible for detecting, preventing and detecting crimes committed in particular by detainees or pre-trial detainees who are in prisons or pre-trial detention centres.

The amendment also aims to increase the autonomy of the University of Justice and introduce the possibility of co-participation of the prison service “in shaping youth citizenship, pro-defense and patriotic attitudes”, in the form of shooting training.

During the report of the Sejm Commission on Justice and Human Rights, the chairman of the commission and the rapporteur, MP Marek Ast, emphasized that during the bill’s deliberation, the minority submitted 59 motions. “Some of the amendments tabled, mainly of a legislative and editorial nature, were accepted by the committee. The amendments not supported by the committee have been included in the report as minority motions” – noted Ast.

“I have to emphasize with satisfaction that the committee largely agreed with the need to modernize the Prison Service and that the argumentation of the Ministry was approved. The most controversial is the creation of the Internal Inspectorate of the Prison Service, and this is related to the amendments that found their way to the minority conclusions” – explained the MP, adding that these amendments, which were intended to delete the provisions on the IWSW did not have the support of the committee.

In the parliamentary discussion, PiS MP Tadeusz Woźniak pointed out that the current draft law – apart from the concurrent draft amendments to the Executive Penal Code – is a key element of the “Modern Prison” reform program. “The aim is to further improve the functioning of prisons and pre-trial detention centers, and to improve the security of penitentiary units, especially the security of the officers themselves” – Woźniak emphasized.

“Amendments have been tabled and adopted during the work of the Justice and Human Rights Committee. Today, PiS will table three more amendments on behalf of the parliamentary club.

“You have to sound the alarm, because Zbigniew Ziobro’s special service is being created. As we said in the committee, Zbigniew Ziobro, as one of the leaders of the United Right, envied other ministers. Zbigniew Ziobro also decided to supervise and know more about your environment” – noted Civic Coalition MP Michał Szczerba. At the same time, he ruled that the IWSW will be able to “perform operational control like other services”. “Access the phone, camera, webmail, eavesdropping and spying. We don’t have our permission” – he announced.

Anna Maria Żukowska from the left recalled that Wednesday the Ombudsman’s report was heard, which “emphasized the importance of not introducing further solutions that allow citizens to be under surveillance without judicial control”. “Meanwhile, the government wants to introduce such a solution again in the next service,” said the deputy from the left. She also announced that the left will vote against this bill.

“The opinion of the Polish coalition clearly shows that today the prison service needs support in new jobs, in raising the ethos of this service at a grassroots level, and not in the special service within the prison service” – said Krzysztof Paszyk of PSL -KP .

During the discussion, the legislative amendments were tabled by Confederation MP Grzegorz Braun and Michał Gramatyka from Poland 2050.

“The state is trying to scare citizens with the fact that there is such a thing as an internal inspection. Well, there is an Home Office with similar powers in the police, the Border Guard has an Home Office with similar powers, and the Internal Inspection Office in the National Tax Office” – he replied to accusations and doubts from opposition MPs, Deputy Minister of Justice Michał Woś.

The deputy head of the Ministry of Justice pointed out that the fact that the Prison Service does not have an Internal Inspectorate that would have such powers was noted by the Prison Service itself. “Crimes committed in penal institutions must be eradicated. The IWSW serves this purpose, which will improve the state’s activities in this field” – he stressed.

Due to the proposed amendments, the draft was referred back to the Justice and Human Rights Committee. “We will consider all amendments tabled at 4 p.m. today” – emphasizes Marek Ast, chairman of the committee.

Earlier, during the justification of the draft amendment, Deputy Justice Minister Michał Woś indicated that there was a very broad amendment to the Prison Service Act. “It offers a whole package of solutions in the pragmatics of the service, of new ranks, through social rules, also through disciplinary procedures, formulated according to the best practices of the police introduced a few years ago” – said Woś.

The new powers for PS officers in the act include: the use of coercive measures – for example, the use of handcuffs in pre-trial detention centers and prisons. “Under the powers of the PS (…) we provide rehabilitation and health stays. It is necessary to take care of the health and physical condition of PS officers. There will also be parental rights, which PS officers do not have far,” explains the deputy head of the Ministry of Justice.

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