This research will explore the context of prisons in the Republic of Kosovo and whether Kosovo prisons meet the modern EU, Council of Europe (CoE) respectively, standards for prisons. More precisely, the study will analyse the way in which prisons have developed in Kosovo, the current situation of the prisons, and the obstacles it faces in fulfilling the required standards, CoE principles respectively.
Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, making it the youngest country in Europe and one of the youngest in the world. That said, not much has been written, nor has a great deal of research been done on the subject of penal reform and criminal justice system renewal [in Kosovo] from an academic perspective, particularly on prisons. The majority of research on prisons and penal reform conducted in Kosovo is in the shape of reports by international organizations such as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and a very limited number of Non-Governmental Organizations. Prisons in Kosovo or the Kosovo Correctional Services (KCS) as this institution in officially called, are also referred to in literature as a part of the Kosovo state-building process, albeit not as much as one would think or wish for. Most of the existing research has not been properly verified raising the question of whether the existing research has been insufficiently independent, rigorous and searching.