On July 16 in Rustavi, Georgia, representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) will join their Georgian counterparts, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland, and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to unveil a new model prison. The facility will serve as a prototype for reform and a more effective correctional system in Georgia, thanks in part to resources and training provided by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
The exchange and development program between Georgia and Wisconsin began in 2013 at the request of the Georgian Government. Previous to this exchange INL, together with other international donors, conducted an evaluation of the Georgian prison system that identified critical training needs for the Ministry. INL has partnered with the Wisconsin Corrections Department to provide corrections officer staff with a set of trainings in security measures, prisoner classification, and prisoner behavior and risk analysis.
The resulting partnership, facilitated by INL, has allowed the Wisconsin DOC to share its operational and rehabilitation program knowledge with the Government of Georgia. The Wisconsin’s DOC system is designed to safely and humanely house prisoners while offering programs for prisoners to successfully reenter the community upon release. Aspects of these principles of prisoner management and best practices will be piloted at the new medium risk prison, to further model professional, internationally accepted practices for the rest of the Georgian correctional system.