Completion of works on the state-of-the-art prison in Kragujevac, Serbia
Since 2009, with support from the EU, WBIF Bilateral Donors, and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Serbia has embarked on a programme to modernize its prison facilities in line with the European Prison Rules.
Within the programme, a WBIF project has been launched, concerning the construction and equipping of two new prison facilities in Pančevo and Kragujevac. The Pančevo prison facility, with capacity for 500 inmates, was completed in 2018.
On Tuesday 16 November 2022, Tomáš Boček, CEB Vice-Governor, Maja Popović, Minister of Justice of Serbia, Una Kelly, Programme Manager at the judicial department of the EU Delegation to Serbia, and Dejan Carević, Head of the State Prisons Department, attended the opening of the Kragujevac prison.
The total cost for the new prison facility is €40 million, It was part-financed with a €17 million loan from the CEB and a €3 million in technical assistance grants from the EU and WBIF Bilateral Donors.
One of the most modern and secure penitentiary institutions in Europe, Kragujevac prison can house up to 500 inmates in 265 cells, including some fitted for inmates with disabilities.
The complex consists of 11 buildings with a total area of 22,000 square meters, providing space for socialising, work activities, vocational training as well as modern equipment and healthcare facilities. It will employ 270 people.
"The improvement of living conditions of persons deprived of liberty and the provision of training and rehabilitation opportunities whilst they serve their sentences is a key pre-requisite for their future reintegration in society," said CEB Vice-Governor Boček.
(c) Council of Europe Development Bank, November 2022
"With the construction of this facility, we have definitely reached the golden standard of prison rules in Europe. So that our prisoners can serve their prison sentences in a humane way,“ said Minister Popović.
The technical assistance financed through the WBIF, with EU and the WBIF Bilateral Donors grants, has already supported the projects' preparatory activities: elaboration of the feasibility report and operational plans for each prison; launch of a call for proposals and a competition for design ideas; provision of the complete design documentation needed for the execution of construction works; organisation of study tours and capacity building activities for staff members of the Ministry of Justice to introduce them to contemporary EU prison practices, and rules and recommendations for prison construction. A WBIF grant was also approved to cover the technical control of the local main design and assist in the preparation of tender dossiers for works for the two prisons. An additional WBIF grant was approved in December 2014 to defray the costs associated with works supervision.