TBILISI, DFWatch–The prison minister in Georgia supports a proposal by the head of the National Bank to merge the Prison Ministry with the Justice Ministry to save money.

“The more we reduce government offices, the more effective the system will be,” Prison Minister Kakha Kakhishvili said.

The Prison Ministry was created in 2008 to avoid a conflict of interest when the Justice Ministry was merged with the Prosecutor General’s Office.

“When the ministry split from Justice Ministry in 2008, it was only formal, as if there was conflict of interest. In reality, the penitentiary system wasn’t really split from the Prosecutor General’s Office.”

Kakhishvili continued saying that he supported the idea of merging the Prison Ministry in the beginning, but in the past several years, there have been some positive results from having the Prison Ministry separate, in terms of developing the prison system. But Georgia should consider letting the justice ministry have responsibility for the prisons, as it is in many countries.