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news 05 Jun 14

Bosnia to Start Building New Prison Soon

After years of interruptions, the authorities announced the start of construction work on a high-standard state prison.

Elvira M. Jukic

Construction of a modern high-standard prison in Bosnia is set to start this month after the authorities on June 4 signed an agreement with the Czech-Spanish company OHL, which is to carry out the works.

This is described as the first prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will meet European standards for the housing of convicts and will cost around 40 million euro of which 6.5 million will be provided from the budget and the rest from credits and donations.

The capacity will be for around 300 prisoners and the site will cover 24,000 square metres in East Sarajevo, which is the part of Bosnia's mainly Serbian entity, Republika Srpska.

It has been almost a decade since authorities in Bosnia agreed to build the first state prison, and only the boundary wall has been built so far.

Bosnia needs a state-level jail since most of its jail capacities are used up. Hundreds of prisoners await places to serve their sentences in the larger of Bosnia’s two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Part of the work was started a long time ago, when the protection wall was built,” said Zoran Basic, director of prison’s Project Implementation Unit.

“Since then there has been an interruption because the existing project did not match European standards, so a new one had to be made,” he added.

He noted that a smaller part of the existing wall will have to be destroyed to fit the new project, which is to be completed in two years.

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