The Criminal Code of 1997 since the very beginnig was changed more than 60 times. The amendment which was signed in July is the most extensive one and its primary purpose is to modify the rules for penalties, as well as to lead to reduce the number of prisoners housed in Polish prisons.
One of the examples of the changes made is Article 49 of the Criminal Code – the institution of criminal proceedings redemption at the request of the victim or including inter alia institution of shortening the period of limitation criminal offenses. The Act proposes a new form of Article 102 of the Criminal Code and amends the period of time which will be extended, giving the possibility of criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. In fact it is reduced to five years – regardless of the nature of the act, of which the perpetrator is being suspected. For example, the same offender who commits a robbery (Article 280 § 1 of the Criminal Code) from 1st of January 2015 has to reckon with the possibility of his conviction for the same act only till 1st of January 2035. The possible extension of the limitation period for criminal offenses is at the moment five years, and not 10 as it was before. The courts, prosecutors and other authorities conducting an investigation after 1st of July will therefore be forced to discontinue all proceedings which are pending against a specific suspect or the accused, which failed to complete in a period longer than five years after the end of the “primary” period of limitation the criminal offenses.
In turn, the term of imprisonment is of course reserved for very serious crimes or perpetrators, who have no chance of improvement. In contrast, the penalty of restriction of liberty will be able to be connected with eg. system of electronic surveillance, also there will be the opportunity to introduce the rule on mixed penalties, ie. short-term imprisonment gathered with a penalty of restriction of liberty.
The change also regulates, among others, new rules to adjudicated total penalties, the issues of detainees telephone contacts and specifies the possibility of their contacts with the consul and protector, and deal with rules on the forfeiture of financial benefits. Subsequent changes, the PIS project of 8th of January 2016.