Georgia, like most of its neighbors, struggles with organized crime and widespread corruption. The effects of nationwide disruption resulting from the August 2008 invasion by Russia will be felt for many years. We hope to do more than simply repair the damage and restore the justice sector to its pre-invasion functions, but to use this as an opportunity to intensify and accelerate reforms.
U.S. Mission Statement
The U.S. objectives in Georgia are to support a prosperous and democratic nation closely tied to Euro-Atlantic institutions. Given the threats of organized crime and corruption to Georgia and to its justice sector, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' (INL) focus is on aiding the Georgian government in modernizing, professionalizing and strengthening those institutions. Following the August 2008 invasion of Georgia by the Russian Federation, the U.S. has responded with a pledge of $1 billion in assistance. INL will respond with focused assistance to the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice.
U.S. Law Enforcement Goals
Following the Rose Revolution in November 2003, Georgia began a reform effort that included a decision to build American-style law enforcement and legal reform systems. This has made U.S. advice and assistance particularly critical. The program supports the Government of Georgia's efforts to improve the professionalism and operational capacity of Georgian law enforcement. Initiated in 1999, INL has implemented various projects and sponsored professional training in-country and overseas. While sharing best practices from the U.S., the INL program has taken care to ensure that all of the legal and procedural reforms are fully consistent with international and European standards, since integration with Europe is the longer-term objective.
- Georgia Justice Sector Development Program: Under this program, INL provides an in-country federal prosecutor from the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as a Resident Legal Advisor (RLA). With RLA assistance, the Georgian Parliament passed a Council of Europe- and FATF-compliant anti-money laundering law; a U.S.-style plea-bargaining law, and anti-child pornography legislation. The RLA and visiting U.S. legal practitioners assisted a Georgian drafting group with reforming the Criminal Procedure Code that will be compliant with international standards and will facilitate effective criminal investigations and prosecutions. Jury trials will also be implemented in a limited scope.
- Forensic Development: Forensics is a critical component of any modern criminal justice system. This project aims to bolster Georgia’s forensic capacities to meet international standards and procedures in preparation for Georgia's impending transition to a jury-trial system. Georgia's National Forensic Bureau has the only DNA lab in the Caucasus region developed with INL-funded technical assistance. INL and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are partnering in a major renovation of the laboratory building. INL retains a contract forensic advisor who provides technical assistance, addresses training needs, and purchases required lab equipment. INL partners with contractors and other federal agencies to provide training in the proper collection, storage and analysis of criminal evidence. The INL advisor works closely with a Quality Assurance team to develop policies and procedures consistent with international standards of forensic laboratory operation.
- Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP): With funding from INL, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia has implemented an Anti-TIP training and awareness program for military personnel. Using curriculum materials developed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the program provided a training DVD and printed material for troops that deployed to Iraq in January. In addition to meeting this time sensitive requirement, IOM trained nearly 400 officers and non-commissioned officers, and conducted train-the-trainer sessions for military academy instructors to ensure sustainability of the program. INL will fund a second iteration of training for the follow-on brigade's impending deployment to Iraq.
- Law Enforcement Academy Development: The Georgian Government adopted a tactical, American style-training approach for its national police force. This three-part project will assist with Academy renovations, equipment, training and technical assistance, and curriculum development. INL has funded the construction of a new building that will provide classroom space for 250 and housing for 130 students. In addition to facilities renovation, INL funded technical experts to assist with curriculum development and regularly provides training in various aspects of law enforcement, including defensive tactics, officer safety and survival skills, traffic enforcement and weapons training using a virtual reality non-lethal weapons simulator. In addition, INL has worked with the FBI to deliver specialized training at the ILEA in Budapest and at the FBI Academy in the U.S. to increase the knowledge and skills required to investigate sophisticated crimes that are of mutual U.S.-Georgian interest. INL is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and build a modern firing range, so that officers can be properly trained to safely and effectively use their sidearm. INL recently funded renovation of several rooms to house the academy's new English Language Center, and provided assistance for curriculum development and instruction.
- TETRA Communications System: Georgia lacks a dependable, nationwide system for police communications. This is a fundamental requirement for law enforcement, but critical during times of national emergency. This project will provide Georgia a system that allows government agencies to communicate in a secure manner and which can serve as an emergency response communications system. We will assist with the funding of communication towers and switching/routing unit, as well as training on use of the equipment.
U.S. Government Funding FY2005-2008
- Patrol Police Communications: This project will provide for the installation of a Police Automated Dispatch System and other software to offer police officers with real time access to criminal databases and vehicle registries for the first time while in the field.
FY05: $ 7.375 million (FSA)
FY06: $ 7.12 million
FY07: $ 6.26 million
FY08: $ 4.192 million (plus pending post-invasion emergency funding)