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National Administration of Penitentiaries of Moldova – A Brief Overview

The Prison System of the Republic of Moldova is a re-education institution, through which the state ensures observance of human rights and implementation of the national and international law. The specific role of prisons is to enforce custodial measures and sentences in a way that would increase public safety and prevent recidivism.

Currently, the prison system consists of the National Administration of Penitentiaries, 17 prisons, including prison for juvenile, women prison, hospital, Training Center, Special Intervention Team.

Nr. Correctional Institutions Capacity of Prison
1 Taraclia 336
2 Lipcani 286
3 Leova 307
4 Cricova 713
5 Cahul 170
6 Soroca 693
7 Rusca (women) 231
8 Bender 279
9 Pruncul 467
10 Goian (juveniles) 64
11 Bălți 258
12 Bender 261
13 Chișinău 570
14 Cricova 470
15 Pruncul (prison hospital) 462
16 Rezina 516
17 Brănești 652
Total Number of Prisoners in Correctional Institutions 6735

In accordance with the Law Enforcement Code No. 443 of 24 December 2004 approved, republished at 5 November 2010, Article 219, each category of prisoners serving sentences running successively in three regimes:

  • Initial;
  • Common;
  • Re-socialization.

As of 1 October 2019, there 6855 persons detained in the prison institutions, of which 6369 male, 420 female, 63 juvenile, 93 foreign nationals and 13 mother with children. Should be added that in the penitentiary for women and in the prison hospital there are specialized units for mother with children.

Types of prison institutions

  • Closed type;
  • Semi-closed types.



Special Purpose Detachment “Pantera” was founded on 1 April 1991, and is subordinated to the National Administration of Penitentiaries. The basic mission of the detachment is to prevent and suppress illegal acts in prisons, security detainees and staff involvement in SP and various special actions. DDS “Pantera” perpetual participate in all actions of escapes and restraint of prisoners escaped from prisons. Over the years, the Special Purpose Detachment “Pantera” participated in a variety of military demonstrations, including international ones, with colleagues from Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Russia, etc. One of the most valuable distinctions that can get an officer Detachment is “Purple Beret”. Wearing Beret is not only proof of special merits, but also to sit an exam confirmation force, held annually and only by the best, ones pass it.

Staff Training

At the Training Center, training is done both through initial and ongoing training of staff in the penitentiary system. Thus, the training lasts from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Training is based on:

  • studying the laws regulating the activity of the penitentiary system;
  • the study of international documents that determine the term and volume of basic human rights, accepted by the world community;
  • international recommendations on the application of these documents.

Besides actual training, the Training Center is organized and conducts seminars, workshops and other training in fields attended by staff of the prison system.


Economic Unit:

National Administration of Penitentiaries conducts its own economic activity in three prisons:

  • Rusca;
  • Brănești.

Inmates are involved in different kinds of work, such as:

  • Cooker;
  • Tailor;
  • Agricultural worker;
  • Builder.

Published on: 18/11/2019

Author: Aleksandar Petrov, Communications Officer, ICPA