STA, 18 November 2019 - The Ljubljana city council has unanimously endorsed the construction of a long-awaited prison in the area of the Slovenian capital, which will enable the government to expand the country's crowded prison facilities.
The city council backed on Monday a decree on the municipal zoning plan which enables the government to build a men's prison in Dobrunje, along the eastern part of Ljubljana's ring road.
The new facility will have room for 388 inmates and is to replace the prison in Povšetova Street in Ljubljana, the occupancy rate of which ranges from 110 to 120%.
The investment into the new facility, which could be built in a public-private partnership, is estimated at around EUR 68 million.
Justice Minister Andreja Katič said in a recent interview that the ministry hoped the prison's construction would begin in 2021.
The plans for a new prison have been long in the making as prison facilities for men have been overcrowded in recent years.
A report by the Council of Europe released in April showed Slovenia's prisons were "slightly overcrowded" in 2018, as there were an average 100.5 inmates per 100 places available.
At the time, the Prison Administration said it had been trying to solve the problem by means of organisational measures, but noted a new prison would be the only long-term solution. It also said the occupancy rate this spring was 104%.