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Start of a New Prison Project

22 December 2017

Juvenile detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo are confronted with many problems. Successful reintegration into society is often challenging. On the 1st of September the NHC´s new project “Towards a Safe, Stimulating and Rehabilitative Prison Environment for Children and Juveniles in Conflict with the Law in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia 2017-2021” has commenced. The project will run until the 31st of July 2021 and builds on the results of the project “Improvement of Prison Conditions for Reintegration of Juvenile Detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo 2013-2017”.

In cooperation with the Albanian General Directorate of Prisons, the Kosovo Ministry of Justice/ Kosovo Correctional Centre and the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions of the Macedonian Ministry of Justice, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee devised a project to contribute to the reform of the prison system in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia by improving the possibilities of juvenile detainees to successfully reintegrate into society. This is done by introducing official working methods for prison staff and integrating these in national policies and curricula of Educational Institutes. The introduction of these new working methods will result in strengthening the capacities of prison staff, prison management and representatives of the Ministries of Justice in the three countries.

During the project, official working methods and tools will be introduced, including: TOPS!, COPOSO, Risk Assessment and the Group Climate Instrument. In January 2018 the project will start with a discussion with international experts and all key stakeholders in the three countries involved to determine which combination of methods and tools will be implemented.

In the long term the aim of the project is to integrate these working methods and tools in a sustainable way into national policies and curricula of Educational Institutes in the respective countries. Regional cooperation between professionals will be encouraged in order to increase cooperation and the exchange of information in relation to the working methods and their consolidation.