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Croatia's Prison System

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 28 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2003 Pages: 6-8
Gary Hill
Susan L. Clayton M.S.
Date Published
May 2003
3 pages
This article presents a brief review of the Croatian criminal justice system and specifically the Croatian prison system including the Criminal Procedures Act, detention, the Execution of Imprisonment Act, confinement, and release potentials and conditions.
Croatia gained formal independence in 1991 and is a presidential/parliamentary democracy. The country adopted its current criminal code in 1997, effective in 1998. This article conducts a brief interpretation and analysis of Croatia’s criminal justice system, and specifically the Croatian prison system. The Criminal Procedures Act provides for provisional confinement and detention. In 2001, the Execution of Sanctions became the agency responsible for the country’s prison administration. In Croatia, capital punishment is prohibited. Detention facilities are located in 14 counties and can be ordered only if the same purpose cannot be achieved by another means and can last no longer than 1 month. Incarceration is carried out in six prisons with the Execution of Imprisonment Act becoming effective in 2001. The Act specifies the main purpose of imprisonment, defines basic principles of the execution of sentences, regulates special inmate rights and the procedures for exercising them, and regulates the placement of inmates in a particular prison. Confinement conditions discussed include cell placement, working outside the prison and education. Release potentials are discussed and include: temporary leave, conditional release, pardons, and amnesty. Croatia’s objective is to use incarceration as a tool to improve offenders’ chances of leading a crime-free life, as opposed to a form of punishment, as noted by the impressively low recidivism statistics.