Community Building Circles: How a restorative approach empowered detainees to cope with the pandemic

Prisons are too often places of conflict, violence, and fear. Isolated in overcrowded and understaffed facilities, prison inmates often become embroiled in violent disputes (Kaufer et al., 2014). The limited attention given to prison violence is testimony to the societal norms regarding acceptable conditions and behavior inside prisons (Wolff et al., 2007). One of the reasons for the violence is the lack of conflict resolution skills in a constructive and non-constructive way. Particularly in prison, many do not have or do not use these vital skills, believing that violence and coercion are our only choices in managing our problems. As
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Categories: Greece.

L.E.I: Good practices for strengthening the capacity of women detainees

L.E.I. (Lavoro.Emancipazione.Inclusione), which stands for work, empowerment and inclusion, is a project promoted and supported by the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation in collaboration with the Lorusso and Cutugno Prison in Turin, Ufficio Pio, the Essereumani Association, the social cooperatives Extraliberi, Impatto Zero and Patchanka, the Casa di Carità Arti e Mestieri Foundation, the Savings Museum and PerMicro of Turin as well as the Emanuela Zancan Foundation. It is aimed at improving the living conditions of women detainees by offering them opportunities for social and work reintegration both inside and outside prison. It developed from a challenge: how to bring
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Categories: Italy.

What competencies will enhance the employability of detainees? A survey by Tirantes in The Netherlands set to find out

What do companies look for in prospective employees nowadays? And, what if these employees have recently got out of prison and are looking for a fresh start? These are some of the questions that Theo Van de Veerdonk, the director of the Dutch social enterprise Tirantes, aimed to get answers for with a survey to Dutch employers.   What are the top skills sought by Dutch employers today? Tirantes is the Dutch partner of the Convicts Upskilling Pathways (CUP) project, which aims to improve the chances for (ex) prisoners to enter the labour market after detention. Tirantes focused on so
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Categories: The Netherlands.

Upskilling detainees in European prisons: what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and what does the future look like?

CUP organised a live online event to mark the International day for education in prison on 13th October 2020. Experts from CUP member countries shared stories of the impact of COVID-19 on their work inside and outside prisons and reflected on the future of prison upskilling programmes in a post-COVID world. Click HERE to view a recording of the event.   The COVID-19 pandemic hit penitentiary institutions around the world with unexpected force. The virus put a halt to everyday activities in prisons and resulted in unprecedented containment measures. As security was bolstered, penitentiary administrations had to find innovative ways of
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Categories: Uncategorized.

Working with detainees in a balanced, person-centred way to fight COVID-19 in Cyprus’ central prison

Athena Dimitriou, Deputy Director of Cyprus Prisons, describes to CUP’s Eleni Takou how the pandemic affected everyday life in Cyprus’ central prison.   Firstly, I was wondering whether you could tell us a few things about your daily work routine prior to the pandemic and how it has now changed amid the pandemic. “Not many things changed in my daily life, in fact during the period of the coronavirus we worked harder and at a more intense pace. Even though there was a curfew, we would stay up late at night so that the necessary protective measures would be issued
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Categories: Cyprus.

Following protocols in an orderly way and fostering communication between detainees and staff enabled the Penitentiary Institution in Vught, The Netherlands, to deal with Covid-19

Wendy, the Deputy Director Care in Vught’s Penitentiary Institution (PI) in the southern part of The Netherlands tells CUP about how they managed to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak in the prison and how the pandemic actually helped strengthen trust between staff and detainees. See our infographic for more information on the situation in Dutch prisons and in PI Vught.    What is your job description? What was your work routine before the pandemic? “I work full time as Deputy Director Care in a Penitentiary Institution (PI). An important element of this PI is the psychiatric centre. There, we house
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Categories: The Netherlands.

How day to day life changed in Greece’s largest prison psychiatric hospital in the time of Covid-19

The CUP project interviewed Maria Stefa, a Social Worker at the Korydallos Prison Psychiatric Hospital, about the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic in the prison context in Greece. Korydallos Prison is the largest and more central prison in Greece and it was at the centre of attention during that period. The full text of the interview is published in Greek at the bottom of the page, and a shorter adaptation in English.    Could you tell us a little bit about your work in general? What was your daily work routine prior to the pandemic? My name is Maria Stefa
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Categories: Greece.