Improving Reintegration into Society for Juveniles in Conflict with the Law
Earlier this month (4-7 June 2019) our prison reform team was in Kosovo to develop training curricula of juvenile detention reform for prison staff working with juveniles in conflict with the law. The working group, consisting of prison management, social workers and security staff, came together to discuss possibilities for enhancing the curriculum to provide more tailored support for youth residing in the Correctional and Educational Centers of Lipjan. The aim of such reform is to facilitate their successful reintegration into society, after their release. A fun bonus for the detainees residing in Lipjan was a visit by the famous Kosovo Albanian rapper MC Kresha, who took time to connect with the boys and inspire them to choose a different path in life. In short, a productive, inspiring and worthwhile trip.
The NHC is implementing this juvenile justice project in Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. The project addresses issues that make it difficult for juveniles in conflict with the law to successfully reintegrate into society. It is based on the idea that detention conditions that favour re-socialization and active involvement of juveniles in daily educational and/ or vocational activities help them better reintegrate into society after they are released. This in turn can reduce the likelihood of coming into conflict with the law again, reducing recidivism rates. Stakeholders on all levels are working together to achieve this goal, from the Ministry of Justice to penitentiary training academies, civil society organizations—such as the NHC and local organizations— and prison staff. Bringing together representatives of different sectors from the target countries in addition to external experts who can share international best practices, can contribute to the sustainability of the changes implemented and ensure the main beneficiaries, juveniles in conflict with the law, receive appropriate rights-based support and rehabilitation.