Edition 14: September 2015 - In This Issue:
EUROPRIS INTERVIEW
Zivile Mikenaite
Director General of the Prison Department Lithuania

EuroPris  Could you tell us about your career path? Why have you chosen to work in the prison and correctional field ?
 
Zivile Mikenaite I've been in the prison system for more than 10 year: first as Head of Personnel Division at the Prison Department, later on became the governor of Kaunas Remand Prison and starting with 1 June 2015 I am the Director General of the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.
My professional background proves that I was moving forward step by step getting to know the prison system from inside, witnessing the challenges it was facing and its achievements; learning from the experts in the field of corrections.
 
How many Prison establishments do you oversee?
11 establishments, of them: 1 Closed Prison-Remand prison, 6 Correction Houses, 2 Remand Prisons, 1 Juvenile Remand Prison-Correction House, 1 Central Prison Hospital; 5 probation services and a .... click here to read the interview.
EUROPRIS NEWS

EPIS Training Workshop
On 3 September 2015, EuroPris held the European Prison Information System (EPIS) Training workshop, at the Irish Prison Service College in Portlaoise, Ireland. The group was comprised of representatives from 10 European National Agencies ( Bulgaria,  Catalonia,  Czech Republic,  Ireland
Latvia,  Lithuania,  Norway,  Turkey, A ustria,  Germany ). The aim of the workshop was to  come in the aid of prison staff in charge of filling the data into the system for their jurisdiction. The training covered topics such as:  an introduction to EPIS, the EPIS fields in depth, practicalities and developments. Participants have found the training very useful, having a broader and clear image on filling in the data and using the system. T he feedback offered by participants was also valuable for EuroPris for the future developments of the system.

Criminal Justice Platform - Conference on Radicalisation
Radicalisation and the dangers caused by violent extremists to European countries are a paramount concern of the criminal justice system.  This international conference on 14 October in Barcelona focuses on disengagement, prevention and monitoring and the transfer of radicalised offenders from prison back into society. The event, organised by the Criminal Justice Platform will present different programmes in the field of radicalisation in prisons, probation and the community through presentations and workshops led by experts from all over Europe.  The agenda will cover definitions and concepts, political and legislative responses, personal experiences and accounts of interventions from a theoretical and practical perspective.  The conference program, contacts and a registration link can be found here
 
Workshop E-Learning for Staff Training
EuroPris, CEP and the Irish Probation Service organize jointly a workshop on the use of e-learning methods in the training of Prison and Probation staff on 10-11 December in Dublin. The aim of the workshop will be to learn from experienced e-learning providers as well as from Services who have only recently started (or who are exploring the possibilities) to integrate e-learning methods in their staff training. In plenary presentations and workshops the why, what and how of e-learning will be discussed. There will also be a 'market place' providing for an opportunity to actually try out existing e-learning programmes that were developed by Prison and Probation Services. The invitation, program and registration link will be sent and available on the websites of EuroPris and CEP at the end of September.
PROJECT NEWS

EuroPris Projects 
Improving Conditions Related to Detention
Trier, 15 October 2015 - 16 October 2015
This is the final seminar in a series of 3 seminars co-funded by the European Commission. It will focus on the EU's Green Paper on detention and the ongoing debate and developments surrounding it. The key topics of the seminar are: (1) the EU Green Paper on the application of EU criminal justice legislation in the field of detention; (2) effective national supervision of detention conditions; (3) good practices in prison management. Participants should be Judges, prosecutors, lawyers in private practice, ministry officials and officials from prison administrations, the probation system and prison monitoring bodies. For the program please see link
 
STEPS 2 Resettlement
As part of the STEPS2 Resettlement project funded by the European Commission, a summary of the rapid literature review written by Dr. Carmen Garcia and Prof. Ioan Durnescu from the University of Huelva and the University of Bucharest respectively is just one objective of one workstream in the project that focuses on Enhanced cooperation and mutual trust between Member States where there are high volumes of offenders transferred. The review focuses on EU Member States legislation and prison policies regarding Framework Decision 909 and the transfer of prisoners to other EU Member States. The full version of this review will be published in early 2016. The summary explains amongst others difficulties and obstacles, requirements for transfer, the transfer process and post transfer considerations. Read here the Summary Report
More about the STEPS2 Resettlement project

IDECOM Innovative staff training
West University Timisoara, one of the partners of the project Innovation, Development and Communication for a better education in Prison Systems (IDECOM), have produced "Staff Training Need Analysis".  The present report aims to present the steps followed in accomplishing the  first two objectives of IDECOM project, namely the staff training need analysis,  conducted in the four partner countries, all in the context of the existent training  programs review.
The structure of this report is organized in four main parts: the first chapter will briefly describe and compare the existent training programs that partners from each country (Romania, Moldavia, Turkey and Portugal) found as examples of good practices in their local prison systems, in the field of the skills targeted by IDECOM project (communication, teamwork competences, ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship), as a starting point in understanding the context in which our project takes place; the second chapter will present the method and steps covered in developing the self assessment survey for prison staff training needs, targeting the same five skills; the third chapter brings up a field research, analysing data gathered from applying the survey to four groups of prison staff respondents, one in each partner country; in the last chapter some conclusions are drawn upon the prison staff training needs in the four countries (Romania, Moldavia, Turkey and Portugal) and recommendations are discussed. To read the full report click here

Building Bridges- Restorative dialogues with victims and offenders
Building Bridges is a European project on Restorative dialogues between victims and offenders: Prison Fellowship International has developed the Sycamore Tree Project as victim-offender-reconciliation programme. A group of victims meets with a group of unrelated offenders. A facilitator leads the participants through the subjects of responsibility, confession, repentance, forgiveness, amends and reconciliation:  www.pfi.org/cjr/stp . The programme can also be done as a victim awareness programme, where one victim comes at one or more of the sessions (e.g. SOS of Gevangenenzorg). The aim of the Building Bridges programme is to use the original method, enhance it further and to see how it best works in the European context. The Prison Fellowship national affiliates in the Netherlands, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, Czeck Republic, Spain and Germany are participants in the project, as well as the University of Hull (GB) and the Makam Research Institute (Austria). Gevangenenzorg is the coordinator of the project.
Visit the actual website of the Building Bridges Project restorative-justice.eu/bb/
On 19-20 November 2015, in Rome, the Conference Supporting the victims of crime through restorative dialogue will take place.  See more information  on the conference and the programme

Other Project News
Real Life - Serious Gaming and virtual reality
Real Life is a new innovative European project, funded for three years by the ERASMUS+ program, in which serious gaming and virtual reality are used to improve skills needed in the 21st century and skills needed for employability for those at the edge of society. This project will start with a kick off meeting at the Nottingham Trent University in October. The other project partners come from the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Latvia and the Czech Republic.
Gamification is a user-friendly method that can be delivered on an individual basis to promote employability and reduce recidivism for prisoners.
The objective of the project is to develop an innovative tool to improve life skills: the RealLife game with a certificate for those who have finished the game. For more information email to: edsantman@changeschances.com. 

Valmopris - Validation of informal learning activities
The VALMOPRIS project is supported by the European Prison Education Association (EPEA). It designs, delivers and validates informal learning activities with the focus on key competences. It will look at the primary key competence of learning to learn. VALMOPRIS will also actively contribute to the policy discourse on prison education, the role of informal learning and the way it can be assessed and validated. The impact of validation of informal learning in a prison setting has the significant potential to encourage learning and further competence development. VALMOPRIS aims at achieving a change in the mind set of education in prisons, at raising the profile of the social and personal competences acquired through informal learning and the way they can be validated.The lead partner of the project is the New College Lanarkshire near Glasgow. Other partners come from Romania, Austria, the Netherlands, Latvia, France and Germany. The kick off meeting of the project is in October 2015 in Glasgow. For more information email to kirsten.sams@nclan.ac.uk. 
 
Primedia Project Final Conference
The PriMedia Network, a project funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, aimed at promoting good practices in use of ICT and multimedia in prison education, invites you to attend the network's final conference themed: "Overcoming electronic barriers to the application of ICT and multimedia in European prisons" at the Las Palmas in Rotterdam on Wednesday 14th October. The conference programme will include keynote speeches on gaming for underprivileged persons and a forum discussion with international experts and demonstrations of the good practices developed in over a dozen countries by the Network and its associates. For further information and reservations please contact f.kloosterman@dji.minjus.nl  
The database  of good practices in the application of ICT & multimedia is on line on the PriMedia website http://www.pri-media.org 
EUROPRIS EXPERT GROUPS
 
Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA Transfer of Prisoners  
In 2015 EuroPris organizes two expert meetings on the implementation of the EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA. The meetings are organized for experts from all 28 EU Member States.
The first meeting took place with 13 countries on 6 & 7 July in Brussels and the second meeting with another 13 countries will take place in The Hague on 28 & 29 September. The experts will discuss best practices, problems and solutions (legal challenges; prisoners consent; completion of the transfer certificates; timing; practical transfer arrangements; sentence adaptation; prison conditions) in the implementation of the Framework Decision. Special attention will be given to victims issues, to the development of an handbook for offenders and to the collection of data that are required for the transfer of sentenced persons. Results and activities from the STEPS2 project (see project news) are shared and discussed with the experts. Ahead of the meeting a number of experts will test the FD 909 e-learning tool that has been developed by the project for the training of staff that is involved in the execution of transfers.

Real Estate/Logistics and Radicalisation
At the EuroPris Annual General Meeting in Bucharest on 8 June the EuroPris members decided that two new expert groups will be established in 2015 and convene their first meeting in the second half of the year. Before the summer EuroPris invited its members to nominate experts for both groups. Much interest has been expressed and EuroPris received a large number of nominations. Until the end of September a selection will be made and communicated with the nominees. Meanwhile, it has been agreed that the expert group on Radicalisation will meet on 24 & 25 November in Vienna, hosted by the Prison Department of the Austrian Ministry of Justice. The expert group on Real estate and logistics will take place on 5 & 6 November in Lisbon and is hosted by the Portuguese Prison and Probation Service. 
 
PRESSROOM    
  • The "Cat and Mouse" Problem of Hunger Strikes in Prison [read article]
  • Norway sends prisoners to Dutch jail because its own are too full [read article]
  • Northern Ireland: 282 assaults on prison warders since 2011 [read article]
  • French prison official freed after being taken hostage by inmate [read article]
  • England and Wales: Michael Gove to close MoJ's controversial commercial division [read article]
  • European Parliament Calls For The Release Of All Political Prisoners In Azerbaijan [read article]
  • No prison escapes so far this year in Belgium [read article]
  • New prison project in Romania lets convicts support themselves, build their own homes [read article]
PRISON RELATED ARTICLES
Self-sufficiency of inmates Opportunities within the prison walls
September feature article
by Toon Molleman

In the field of incarceration policy, the phenomenon of self-sufficiency is relatively novel. Before, the prison management and prison staff were the key actors responsible for safety, humanity and rehabilitation within the prison walls. These professionals were responsible for the accessibility and quality of a wide range of services and amenities. Recently, in the Dutch prison system, this responsibility has been transferred to the individual inmates. Services and amenities (for example services concerning rehabilitation) are therefore no longer a self-evident inmate right. Instead, inmates must earn amenities and services by showing prosocial behavior. As a consequence, the helping and supporting role of prison staff has not been dispensed with entirely, but the active actor responsible for good and stimulating prison conditions is now the inmate him or herself. A change in regime enacted in Dutch legislation stipulates that inmates are promoted to a more extensive program when they behave well. Good behavior entails obeying the house rules and a responsible attitude regarding hygiene in their cells, personal care and re-integration. Inmates can also be demoted to a less extensive program when they show undesirable behavior, which is also defined by legislation. The key principle is that the inmate takes responsibility for his or her behavior, daily needs and future perspectives. 

To read the full article,  click here.
DOCUMENT LIBRARY
  1. Updated State of Play: EU Framework Decisions 909;  947829;
  2. Competent Authorities for Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA;
  3. Declarations by Member State for Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA,  2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA;
  4. FD 909 prisoner transfer information form;
  5. UNODC Handbook for Prison Leaders. 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS
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