Justice Minister Janis Bordans allows for the possibility of constructing Liepaja Prison using a public and private partnership model, as confirmed by the city council after meeting with Liepaja Prison Administration and the minister.
The ministry’s representatives were shown city’s development trends and socio-economic situation in Liepaja, ports, airport development and topical developments in entrepreneurship. One of the topics of the discussion was the construction of the new prison.
“Currently we have a project, which means we are one step closer. Nevertheless, to commence the project’s implementation on a national level it is necessary to review the project’s financing options. We would like to discuss this matter with the municipality – finding financing sources together. We have to consider public and private partnership model employed elsewhere in the world for the needs of the prison’s construction,” said the minister, adding that if the project’s implementers were able to find added value a contracted construction businessman would be able to gain from this cooperation.
The minister also notes that on a government level there are no longer any doubts about the need to build a modern prison, because a prison is no longer considered a place where crime is allowed to develop and continue.
It is an appropriate environment that educates and helps to re-socialize convicts, increasing the possibility of those people returning to normal lives after being released from prison.
“Currently I cannot say if use of a public and private partnership for the construction of the prison would be possible and productive, because a prison is a specific location with requirements different to the ones employed for regular construction projects. We have no example from our closest neighbors to compare experience. Nevertheless, we will consider this option and provide our vision to the ministry,” said Liepaja Mayor Janis Vilnitis.
During the meeting, the city council’s management and the minister discussed also the topic to enhance cooperation between the two institutions in order to raise professionalism of judges and residents’ satisfaction with work performed by courts of justice. After visiting the city council, the minister departed to meet with Kurzeme Regional Court’s judges.
Bordans admits the idea discussed in Liepaja is “green” – new and unexplored. He stressed that it was too soon to consider public and private partnership project. In a conversation with Liepaja City Council, the minister invited the city’s administration to see if any of local businessmen have in any interest of joining the project. (BNN/Business World Magazine)