Ombudsman criticises low wages of prison inmates in Hungary
Budapest, April 24 (MTI) – After the deduction of accommodation and other costs, practically no money is left with inmates which generates tensions in prison life, the Monday issue of Magyar Nemzet cites a recent report by the ombudsman.
Visiting the Sátoraljaújhely Detention Centre in northern Hungary as part of a series of reviews within the UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) review system, László Székely concluded that prison inmates in Hungary are often left with abysmally low amounts of money, which leads to massive work-shirking.
Prison work is not part of the social security contribution system, which infringes on the workers’ basic right to social security, the ombudsman concluded. The system also leaves long-term inmates without pension and in a hopeless situation, he added. The ombudsman has called on the minister of human resources and the interior minister to review the Pension Act and consider its amendment.
Reacting to the ombudsman’s remarks, the ministry of the interior said that the additional costs of prison work already strain the prison system. Revenue from the inmates’ work falls way short of covering the expenses, the ministry said.
The Sátoraljaújhely prison is crowded to 162 percent of its capacity: originally erected to house 263 inmates, it now has 421.