NEW YEAR MESSAGE
President of EuroPris and Director General of Belgian Prison Service
The first month of the New Year is already halfway, still I would like to use this opportunity to send you my best wishes for 2015. May personal health and happiness also lead to professional inspiration and success.
We are now entering the 4th year of EuroPris and I am proud to say that we have made good progress in the last year, which is also reflected in the intention of 5 new prison administrations that committed to become a new member of EuroPris in 2015.
A number of important events are planned for this year. One of them being the Global Corrections Digital Technology Conference that we are organizing in cooperation with CEP and ICPA on 28/29 May in Barcelona. In the center of our attention will also be the support to the implementation and use of the EU Framework Decision 909 on the transfer of prisoners through the organisation of expert meetings.
Click here to read full message.
Director General of Irish Prison Service
EuroPris: Could you tell us about your career path? Why have you chosen to work in the prison and correctional field?
I have been working in the "people business" for the past 40 years. Equality and human rights have always been important to me so therefore it's no coincidence that I have spent my working life in the helping profession, working in health, social services, child guidance, children's detention centres, probation and now prisons. I have chosen to work in the correctional field because, prisoners challenge me their equality and their rights are highly at risk of being undermined. Prisoners being treated fairly will actually lead to fewer victims and a safer community for us all.
How many Prison establishments do you oversee?
As Director General, I oversee 3 campus prisons which encompass 8 prisons. There are also 4 traditional closed, medium security prisons and 2 open centres. The prisons are supported by a number of auxiliary units - the Irish Prison Service College, the Operational Support Group, the Prison Service Escort Corp, and the Building Services Division.
How many prisoners are in prison at the moment in Ireland?
On 08 January 2015 there were a total of 4,164 persons in the prison system, 3612 prisoners in custody with a further ...click here to read the full interview.
Global Corrections Digital Technology Conference
The European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) in cooperation with the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) and the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) will organise on 27-29th May 2015 the first Global Corrections Digital Technology Conference, Technology in Corrections: Challenges for the Future and will be hosted by the Justice Department, Government of Catalonia.
The aim of this conference is to:
*Challenge the private sector to develop innovative digital solutions for use in corrections to address issues facing prisons and probation today;
*Provide networking opportunities for technology experts in the corrections arena;
*To promote the use and implementation of advanced Digital Technology Solutions in corrections.
Online registration will open on the 20th January.
For more information on papers and speaker positions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
4th EuroPris Conference and Annual General Meeting
The National Administration of Penitentiaries Romania will host the 4th EuroPris Conference and Annual General Meeting on 8 June 2015 in Bucharest. Recent developments in Europe demonstrate the ever growing importance to work together and to address problems jointly. The issue of Radicalization will be on the agenda of the EuroPris Annual Conference
The EuroPris event will be followed by the 20th Council of Europe Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services on 9 and 10th June also in Bucharest.
Welcome New Member from Portugal
Licínio Lima, the General Directorate of Rehabilitation and Prison Services in Portugal included as one of the aims in their National Action Plan 2013-2015 the membership of European network organisations. Hans Meurisse, president of EuroPris gave a presentation on "Modern prison management: challenges and opportunities" at the seminar "Penitentiary Systems in Intelligent Society" that was organized in the framework of the ECOPRIS project in Lisbon. At this seminar the Deputy Director General from Portugal officially announced that the General Directorate of Rehabilitation and Prison Services will become a member of EuroPris in 2015. A warm welcome to our Portuguese member and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation within EuroPris.
Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Prison and Probation Working group
On 11-12 December 2014 a plenary meeting of the RAN Prison and Probationwith more than 50 attendees from 20 European countries took place in Rome. Main theme of the discussion was 'Prison(ers) Society'. EuroPris board member Peter van der Sande has attended the working group on behalf of EuroPris.
When it comes to radicalism and extremism in prison the Prisoners Society is both, a place where radicalized people are brought to and a place where people might radicalize (being vulnerable by biography and/or by circumstances).
The meeting consisted of various lectures given by experts in this field and were followed by group sessions .
Professor Mark Hamm from the Indiana State University spoke about the reasons why prisoners radicalise in prisons.
Allison Liebling, professor at the University of Cambridge presented a sequenced and progressive life course model of (prison) radicalization and spoke on prisons and the problem of trust.
Dr. Sarah Lewis, senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth addressed de-radicalization by using probation relationships.
And finally, Fernando Reinares, professor of government and Security Studies at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid discussed cases of prison radicalization in Spain.
At the end of the conference Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Centre for Asymmetric threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College presented the case of Foreign Fighters in Europe, followed by a panel discussion with prison governors who are already dealing with returnees from Syria in their institution. More findings in our next Newsletter.
Criminal Justice Platform (CJP)
From 3-4 December Peter van der Sande (EuroPris Board) and Kirsten Hawlitschek (Executive Director EuroPris) participated at the Criminal Justice Platform meeting in Barcelona. In this Platform EuroPris cooperates with the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) and the European Forum for Restorative Justice. At the meeting the planning was made for joint activities in 2015, which are: an expert meeting on the implementation of the EU Victims Directive 11-12 March in Barcelona; a seminar on Radicalization on 19th June in Barcelona and a seminar in Brussels on the implementation of the EU Framework Decisions 909, 947 and 829 (transfer of prisoner, probation sentences and European Supervision Order). The Catalonian Ministry of Justice is hosting meetings and events of the CJP since 2014. On 4th December an official Partnership Agreement was signed by the Catalonian Ministry of Justice and EuroPris, CEP and EFRJ for the support of the work of the Platform.
The STEPS2 project is going well and is on target. The project has four strands looking at Enhanced cooperation and mutual trust between Member States (workstream 1), Increasing understanding and awareness of Framework Decision 909: Staff, Offenders and Victims (workstream 2), Development of resettlement and aftercare practices (workstream 3) and Improving prison management through improved information management (workstream 4). A workshop between Spanish, Italian and Romanian prison administrations was delivered in November 2014 in Seville, Spain as part of workstream 1. This workshop was very successful and led to many important questions and problems being found regarding the policies in place in Spain and the work needed to make framework decision 909 successful. The next workshop for this workstream is planned for March 2015 in Italy. Workstream 4 is holding their focus group this month in Zagreb which will focus on the questionnaire sent out to prison authorities across Europe regarding prisoner information storage and transfer. They will also be holding an IT Expert group in London in Spring (date to be confirmed). Workstreams 2 and 3 are also going well with research being conducted into the effects of victims by prisoner transfers and the information offered and needed for prisoners.
EuroPris is one of the partners in the European Commission Erasmus+ funded ECOPRIS (Ecological Economics in Prison Work Administration) project. The kick-off meeting that took place in Lisbon 12-13 January. Together with the partners from Portugal, Turkey and Romania the project aims at increasing the entrepreneurial skills of prison staff to develop meaningful work for prisoners to increase their chances on the local labor market and at increasing the generation of funds from prison work that can be added to the budget of the prison service. At the same time the project will observe that the two objectives - rehabilitation aims for prisoners and the generation of funds - are in the right balance. Before developing a prison staff training course the existing trainings in this filed will be assessed by the team as one of the first project activities. Please refer to our website for any further project updates.
EUROPRIS EXPERT GROUPS
ICT Expert Group
The third meeting of the EuroPris ICT expert group took place on 9-10th December in Luxembourg. The agenda of the meeting included topics such as evaluation and follow up of the ICT workshop, the possibility of creating essential platforms for prison services, discussion of the survey results on possible data model of exchange of prisoner related information within FD 909, exchange of the ICT projects taking place in Eurpean prison administrations. Another focus of the meeting was the preparation of the ICT workshop that is planned in the second half of 2015.The group was composed of experts from Sweden, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Norway, Croatia, Belgium, Luxembourg, England and Wales, Catalonia, Netherlands and Czech Republic. To find out more, don't miss our next newsletter when we will publish the report of the ICT in Prisons Expert Group Meeting.
Foreign National Prisoners Expert Group Meeting
As a follow-up to the workshop on Foreign National Prisoners that was jointly organized by EuroPris and CEP from 20-22 October 2014 in London a meeting of the Special Interest Group on Foreign National Prisoners (FNP) will take place on 13 February in Amersfoort, Netherlands. At this meeting the recommendations of the workshop will be discussed and a plan for future activities in the field of Foreign National Prisoners will be developed. Experts participating at the meeting will be from different backgrounds (ngo, prison, probation, academic) and from different European countries. With an average of about 25% FNPs in EU countries it is a significant issue for prison management. EuroPris and CEP have taken up this issue as we should enable our members to learn from each other about managing safe, decent and human regimes for FNPs.
- The EU's counter-terrorism chief warned that Europe's prisons have become a "massive incubator" for radicalisation [read article]
- England and Wales: The Care Act 2014 is due to be implemented in April 2015 [read article]
- The blanket ban on sending books to prisoners in England and Wales has been declared unlawful by the high court [read article]
- A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Justice, the University of Cyprus, and Nicosia Central Prisons [read article]
- Hungary: Inmates will be obliged to work from next year [read article]
- Buildup in Turkey's prison population raises concerns [read article]
- England and Wales: Prison population projections 2014 to 2020 [read article]
Prisoners in Turkey who are unfit to stay in prison due to their deteriorating health will be released on probation under a planned legal amendment [read article]
Netherlands: MPs propose a plan to allow probation officers to keep supervising certain criminals throughout their lives outside prison [read article]
- Rules on conducting full body searches of dissident republican prisoners in Northern Ireland have been eased in some circumstances as part of the "normalisation" of security arrangements in jail [read article]
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls: 'Jailed radicals must be in solitary confinement' [read article]
PRISON RELATED ARTICLES
- Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Cyprus together with the response of the Cypriot authorities [read report]
- Correctional Statistics of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden 2009 - 2013 [read report]
- Nils Öberg, director-general of Sweden's prison and probation service "Our role is not to punish. The punishment is the prison sentence: they have been deprived of their freedom"
- Council of Europe anti-torture Committee published the report on its September/October 2013 visit to the Slovak Republic, together with the response of the Slovak authorities [read report]
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Incentivising Prison Visits: New Research Findings on the Needs of Children with Imprisoned Mothers and Fathers
January's feature article
January's feature article comes from Kathryn Sharratt, Research Assistant at the Applied Criminology Centre, University of Huddersfield
This month's feature article comes from the UK Prison Service Journal, November 2014 issue. This paper presents findings from in-depth interviews with families affected by parental imprisonment in England and Wales. It emerged that early, frequent and good quality visits are equally important in meeting the emotional needs of children with either a mother or father in prison. It is argued that including visiting arrangements as a key earnable privilege is incongruous with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) since restricting the frequency of visits and access to Family Days is clearly not in the best interests of most children.
to read the full article
- 20 January, STEPS2 Focus Group, MOJ Croatia, Zagreb;
- 21-22 January, IDECOM project, kick-off meeting, Timisoara, Romania
- 4-6 February, 8th Meeting of the PC-CP Working Group, Strasbourg, France;
- 12 February, Education behind bars, Conference on Prison Education and Foreign National Prisoners in Europe, Amersfoort, Netherlands;
- 13 February, EuroPris/CEP Meeting Special Interest Group Foreign National Prisoners, Amersfoort, Netherlands;
- 12-13 March, Criminal Justice Platform, Expert meeting Implementation EU Victims Directive, Barcelona, Spain;
- 12-19 April, 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Doha, Qatar;
- 22-26 April, 9th Meeting of the PC-CP Working Group, Strasbourg, France;
7-8 May, ERA Project Conference The supervision of matters related to detention: the Council of Europe and international bodies' work in improving conditions, Strasbourg, France;
- 28-29 May, Global Corrections Digital Technology Conference, Barcelona, Spain;
4-5 June, Prisons of the Future project work session, Beveren, Belgium;
- 8 June, 4th EuroPris Conference and AGM, Bucharest, Romania
- 9-10 June, 20th Council of Europe Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services, Bucharest, Romania;
- 18-19 June, CJP Conference on Radicalization, Barcelona, Spain;
- 14-17 July, 2nd World Congress on Probation, Los Angeles, USA;
- 17 September, CJP Seminar to EU MEP, Brussels, Belgium;
- 30 September-3 October, European Prison Education Association Annual Conference, Antwerp, Belgium;
- 15-16 October, ERA Project Conference The improvement of conditions relating to detention at an EU level: best practice, legislation and the European Commission's Green Paper on detention, Strasbourg, France;
- 25-30 October, ICPA Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia
- 10-11 November, EuroPris/CEP Education and Staff Training Workshop, Dublin, Ireland.
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If you have an event relevant for European Correctional Services you would like to disseminate to a wider European audience then email the event details to the Office Manager and it will be added to the next edition of the newsletter.
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