EuroPris Special Edition Newsletter 2020
on Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation
Update from the FNPP Expert Group Coordinator
This is the third Special Edition Newsletter of the joint EuroPris/CEP Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation (FNPP) Expert Group that looks at new developments and practices with foreign national prisoners in Europe. With the cancelation of our group meeting & workshop this year combined with work demands due to Covid-19, this newsletter is a notable achievement of the group. Whether the postponed international FNP conference can happen in 2021 remains uncertain of course at this time, we hope it can. Many of the contributions in this newsletter from group members, describe how their Service or organisation are managing in these challenging times, striving to ensure that foreign prisoners are not additionally disadvantaged. For instance, restrictions on prison visits to manage Covid-19 has led Prison Services to adopt alternative ways for prisoners to maintain external links with family. For the first time in many prisons, Skype and other internet communications including emails, are being used which have been of particular benefit to foreign prisoners with family members abroad. Combined with greater access to telephones, this has led to a significant change in prison practices for all prisoners, whether they remain features of prison life after the impact of the pandemic, will be seen. For contributors' contacts, please email me on the email below.

Nick Hammond
News from the FNPP expert group
ERA Online Seminar - focus on foreign national prisoners
Four members of the EuroPris/CEP Foreign Nationals in Prison & Probation Expert Group presented at the Academy of European Law (ERA) Online Seminar, ‘The European Rules as a Standard-Setter for European Prison Conditions' on 30 November - 1 December 2020. Members spoke about the need to implement CoE 2012(12) Recommendations, the effective management of foreign national prisoners & impact of Covid-19 in Cyprus and Italy and the availability of a prison staff e-Learning training module. Presentations and audio recordings from the seminar will be available on the ERA website, click below to view the link.

E-Learning Module on Managing Foreign National Prisoners
Working with foreign prisoners is an increasing challenge for European prisons. To assist prison staff, managers, prison trainers and others who work with and are responsible for foreign prisoners, an innovative and engaging online E-Learning course has been created by EuroPris in conjunction with the Council of Europe HELP Programme and the University of Nottingham. Usage is free and it is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Greek and Italian.

Ter Apel conference on FNPP is postponed
The Ter Apel conference, supported by the Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation expert group which was originally planned for March in Ter Apel, Netherlands, has been now postponed to the second half of 2021. Further updates will be published in the EuroPris media.
News from Prison and Probation Services
Working with volunteers at the International Office of the Dutch Probation Service
Michelle Pape & Marco Brok
The International Office is part of the Dutch Probation Service which works on behalf of three probation organizations in the Netherlands. The International Office provides information, advice, and support to detainees serving prison sentences abroad and their social network in The Netherlands. The International Office has used volunteers since its foundation in 1975. Thanks to this experience, the International Office has a unique position within the probation and after-care service in working with volunteers. This article first briefly introduces the International Office's working practice and then discusses the deployment of volunteers and the dilemmas this entails.

Effective management of foreign national offenders - National Probation Service, England & Wales
Kilvinder Vigurs
Kilvinder Vigurs, regional Director of National Probation Service London, recently joined the EuroPris/CEP Foreign Nationals in Prison & Probation Expert Group. As the NPS Foreign Offenders’ Strategic lead, alongside Kilvinder, Carina Heckroodt, has taken up the role of FNO Operational lead. Their vision is to ensure and embed the effective management of all Foreign National Offenders under the management of the Probation Service, across England and Wales. This report summarises their approach covering the Service Level Agreement with the Home Office Criminal Casework Department of the Immigration Service, and secondments between agencies and the newly formed central Foreign National Offenders Team.

Foreign Nationals in Cyprus Prison
Athena Demetriou
Athena Demetriou is a member of the EuroPris/CEP Foreign Nationals in Prison & Probation Expert Group and a senior prison manager in the Cyprus Prison Service (CPS). In this paper, Athena describes the significant improvements achieved in the CPS over the past 6 years. Having one of the highest proportions of foreign national prisoners in Europe, approximately 49% from 67 countries. This paper focuses on the improvements achieved by this group, referencing CoE 2012(12) as a guide.

Prisons in Austria during Covid-19 crisis - special focus on FNPs
Petra Pavlas
During the COVID-19 crisis, many measures, modifications and changes were taken. In order to get an idea of challenges that the Austrian Prison Service had (and still has) to face, this article provides an overview on COVID-19 measures taken, with a special view on FNPs, as a group of people with special needs. In Austria, there are on average around 9,000 prisoners, whereas half of them are comprised of foreign nationals.

Supporting family of Dutch prisoners abroad
Bureau Buitenland, the International Office of the Dutch Probation Service, supports family and friends of Dutch prisoners abroad. For instance, by organizing quarterly meetings for them in Utrecht. Travel expenses are reimbursed and lunch is included. The idea was inspired by Prisoners Abroad, who have been known to organize such meetings for a long time now. This article describes an experience of a family member of a prisoner abroad that benefitted from these meetings.

Supervision of probation during the crisis (Baden-Württemberg)
Julia Audick
In recent months, the effects of the Corona pandemic have demanded a rather unusual and challenging private and professional everyday life from all of us, which has caused changes in customary sequences as well as serious restrictions. The current crisis has prompted the Central Department of Social Work in Probation and Judicial Assistance to take a closer look at the situation. The questions of how subordination to a probation officer is designed in times of crisis and how the task of helping and supervising in such extreme conditions can be implemented with the clients were of particular interest. This has led to a study entitled "Supervision of probation during the crisis“. 

Other News
Foreigners Involvement and Participation in Prison
This one-pager is part of a larger research project called ‘Foreigners Involvement and Participation in Prison’ (FIP2-project). The one-pager includes the most important results of the 51 interviews with foreign national prisoners conducted in four prisons in Flanders (Belgium). The project focuses on foreign national prisoners’ participation in prison activities, their social contact and social support, future perspectives and re-integration. If you would like to have more information about the research or have any questions, please contact

From 'Social Exclusion to Social Inclusion', a Dutch initiative
The Dutch NGO, PrisonWatch, has pioneered an innovative project working with Alphen aan den Rijn Prison to improve the daily life of its’ foreign national prisoners. The PrisonWatch team of prison staff have developed a network of volunteers and hosts who they train and support to work with the 8,000 prisoners who pass through the prison annually. Prison Watch has plans to extend its work to other Dutch prisons next year. Under this link you may find the PrisonWatch Activity Plan 2021 describing their work and plans for expansion along with a presentation booklet entitled 'PrisonWatch The Human Connection – From Social Exclusion to Social Inclusion'.
Repatriation Developments in Ireland
Catherine Kenny
The Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO) is a small charitable organisation with offices in Ireland and London. Established in 1985, they provide advice, information and support to Irish prisoners overseas and their families. The ICPO works with approximately 1,200 Irish people imprisoned in almost 30 countries as well as those in immigration detention. Catherine Kenny, a Casework, Policy and Information Officer, describes the work of the ICPO and provides an up to date summary of the current position of prisoner transfer in the Irish Republic. EU FD 2008/909 JHA Recognition of judgments imposing custodial sentences on the Transfer of Prisoners has not as yet been ratified. For further information contact

B-COMPETENT - Research report and training
The 2-year project co-funded by the EU Justice Programme aims to build capacity of prison front-line staff with focus on foreign inmates’ special needs and rights. The research report aims to identify good practices and training needs of prison staff in six countries (Italy, France, Spain, Albania, Montenegro and Greece). Building on the research results, B-Competent will produce an innovative cross-border train-the-trainers programme, combined with practical multilingual tools, best practices sharing and awareness-raising actions.

Education Behind Foreign Prison Bars - Evaluation Study
Frans Lemmers
Education Behind Foreign Prison Bars (Eabt) is a Dutch voluntary organisation which provides educational materials and support for Dutch nationals imprisoned abroad. Working closely with the International Office of the Dutch Probation Service, Eabt improves the employment and reintegration prospects of Dutch prisoners for their eventual return to the Netherlands. Eabt commissioned The Participation And Learning in Detention (PALD) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) to undertake an evaluation study into the work and outcomes of their group in a changing prison environment. Questions about Eabt, contact and questions about the study, e‑mail

Study: Cross-border cooperation in the execution of sentences
Robin Hofmann & Hans Nelen 
This study is about cross-border cooperation in the execution of sentences between the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, an empirical and comparative legal study on the implementation of EU framework decisions 2008/909/JHA and 2008/947/JHA. The study exemplifies remaining challenges connected to the principle of mutual trust in the daily practice of cross-border legal cooperation within the EU.

Freedom Square Project - Italy
Luisa Ravagnani is a member of the EuroPris/CEP Foreign Nationals in Prison & Probation Expert Group and the founder of the group Italian Prisoners Abroad, who support Italian prisoners abroad and on their return. Luisa was significantly involved in the early days of the impact of COVID-19 in prisons in Northern Italy and then elsewhere. In this article, Luisa provides an overview of these early, fraught days and how and why she established with others, the “Freedom Square Project”.

European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EUROPRIS)
P.O. Box 13635
2501 EP The Hague