Zareck on DPS in Jordanów: such things happen in Poland

“Such things happen in Poland in nursing homes. We have examples of inhuman and degrading treatment in Poland and these are not individual examples” – said Justyna Zarecka, expert from the Torture Prevention Team from the Ombudsman’s office, about the situation in an afternoon interview with RMF FM in DPS in Jordanów in Małopolska.

Earlier this week, Wirtualna Polska revealed the scandalous practices in the treatment of mentally handicapped children. The defendants were beaten, locked in a cage and tied to their beds. Of course, this is not the case in all DPS, because most of them work very well, the staff are involved, the centers work well and they are trustworthy, but unfortunately it is not the same everywhere – she added.

It makes no difference to us whether this nursing home is run by nuns or county and lay workers. How this work will be supervised is crucial said Zarecka.

In the online part of the conversation, Justyna Zarecka of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, the Commissioner for Human Rights, explained that in her view it does not matter whether the institutions are run by priests or lay people. According to our guest, the supervision of the DPS depends largely on the province. The question is how the office or court functions in a given area. This is a problem for me, because it is obvious that in some voivodships such inspections are more frequent, they are more comprehensive, and in others – like in Świętokrzyskie DPS, the last inspection was in 2017 said Zarecka. The expert said that despite the facts revealed by the institution in Jordanów, public centers are more trustworthy. In private reception facilities, checks are less frequent and the attitude of those in charge is different. There are good places, but unfortunately I feel like most of them are money making machines – explained the specialist of the Office of the Defender of Human Rights.

Why aren’t there any system changes that would prevent further reports of the so-called “horror DPS”? Justyna Zarecka said the problem is that the people in these institutions are forgotten and they constitute too little electoral pressure. They are an uncomfortable subject for successive rulers. These families will not come to Warsaw with pickaxes and strike – added the expert.

Tomasz Terlikowski: The Ombudsman has appointed a lady to take care of this case. We know from the last minute from the reports of RMF FM that the Voivode of Lesser Poland has announced that he wants the DPS of Jordanów to be handed over to the state by nuns. It’s a good idea, is it enough?

Justyna Zarecka: Is it sufficient? It’s hard to judge. In fact, it makes no difference to us whether this center is run by nuns or whether it is run solely by county and lay workers. How this work will be supervised is crucial.

Well, we already know that it seems that the sisters did not lead this DPS at best. Perhaps, at least to clarify the matter, should it be handed over to the office of the poviat?

I think it’s a good idea to ensure full impartiality and rational evaluation.

Have you been to DPS in Jordanów?

I haven’t been there yet, I have visited many old people’s homes in Poland.

Let’s move on to what happened there. Do you think the extremely serious allegations made by Wirtualna Polska, later by other media, the Presents sisters and the DPS in Jordanów, are credible allegations? Reminder: tied to beds, caged for the night, smeared with excrement, beaten, etc., this list goes on. Do these claims seem plausible based on your experience?

Unfortunately, it is painful to say yes, because such things happen in Poland in nursing homes. We have examples of inhuman and degrading treatment in Poland and these are not individual cases.

Do you mean to tell me that the kind of things we have heard and seen are referred to as the house of horror? Does this also happen in other places in Poland?

Unfortunately, I have to say that it is very likely that such things will happen. Of course, that’s not the case in all DPS, because most of them work very well, there are committed staff there, these places work really well and they are places where you can trust and entrust them with your loved ones, but unfortunately it is not the same everywhere.

How to distinguish it? People send their loved ones to the retirement home, sometimes they are children, sometimes they are parents whose families cannot take care of them, it is very hard bread. How can people make the distinction, how to check whether the retirement home is trustworthy or whether their children or parents will be affected by what probably happened to the people of Jordanów?

First – go for it. Before deciding to put such a person in the DPS, you need to go there, see how it works, not just rely on what is on the websites, because this image is usually very beautiful. Later, search for information, search for inspections by voivodes, judges and search for our inspections. We prepare a detailed report on each visit to the nursing home. From the DPS and all the other places of deprivation of liberty that we visit in Poland. We visit more than 4,000 establishments in the country, because they are places of detention.

Places of deprivation of liberty. Is the DPS a place of deprivation of liberty?

Yes, because you can be placed there by court order, or if you or someone close to you is unfit.

I understand it’s a bit like a prison then?

Soon all the content of the conversation

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