Use of Alternative Sanctions as Opposed to Custodial Sanctions was the core topic of the round table organized by the European Union/Kosovo Justice Sector Programme (EUKOJUST) in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, Kosovo Judicial Council and Kosovo Prosecutorial Council.
The event held on Tuesday 17 October 2023, in Pristina, gathered all relevant stakeholders (judges, prosecutors, correction and probation service) within the Justice Sector and discussed the imposing alternative sanctions and consideration of the possibility of strengthening them. The participants welcomed the choice of the Round Table topic and emphasized the importance it has for Kosovo society.
In Kosovo, alternative sanctions, within the framework of the criminal law reform, have taken root, but mainly for juveniles. Therefore, it is necessary to further promote the application of alternative sanctions. Negative consequences of institutional punishment and incarceration are particularly evident when serving short prison sentences, and that is why the imposition of alternative sanctions is especially important for these cases.
The aim of this Round Table was to strengthen cooperation between the prosecution, judiciary, Conditional Release Panel, correctional and probation services. The open and dynamic discussion confirmed the existence of a great need to establish a regular dialogue between these stakeholders in order to improve the system of criminal policy, and especially the policy of imposing alternative sentences in Kosovo. The conclusion of this Round Table was that there should be more such discussions, where all stakeholders involved in alternative sanctions can share their experiences. There is need for stronger cooperation among justice sector institutions and professionals so that alternative sanctions are use more often and when it is appropriate.