Through bilateral co-operation activities and projects, the Criminal Law Co-operation Unit plays a major role in assisting the beneficiary countries to integrate the Council of Europe standards in their penitentiary, probation and law enforcement institutions. The work related to prisons, probation and the police is an integral part of the overall work of the Council of Europe related to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the three pillars of the raison d’être of the Organisation, in accordance with its Statute. The main objective is to help the 47 member states improve their legislation and practice related to the work of the police as well the execution of penal sanctions and measures. These efforts are part of the overall aim of the Organisation to create a common European space where societies function in conformity with the standards set by the Council of Europe and where individual human rights and fundamental freedoms, including of persons who have transgressed the law, are respected.
Presenting Training manual on advanced competencies of prison staff
A training programme developed on the basis of the Training manual on advanced competencies of prison staff was presented to a group of assistant prison governors on 5-6 October in Banja Luka as part of the 3rd cycle of training.
Multilateral meeting "The social reintegration of offenders to reduce reoffending – Co-operation between prison and probation services"
Sarajevo, 29-30 September 2015 - The meeting was organised within the multilateral co-operation activities of the Council of Europe in the penitentiary field. The meeting brought together representatives of prison and probation services from ten countries, involved in the Council of Europe bilateral, multilateral and project activities and in the process of developing or adjusting their policies for enhancing the social reintegration of offenders. The participants have shared good practices and discussed ways of introducing new developments in their countries’ systems in the light of the relevant Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Presentation of the National Strategy for development of the penitentiary system in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
How to reduce prison overcrowding and treat prisoners with dignity– these are amongst the main issues addressed by the National Strategy for Development of the Penitentiary System, presented to the press on 29 September 2015 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Skopje. (Read more)
Workshop on prison management in Ukraine
The workshop “Vision for Change” on general prison management issues and importance of rehabilitative approach was held in Kyiv on 25 September 2015 in the framework of the joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine”. (Read more)
Specialised Training for members of the police internal control sector
A 3-day specialised training on human rights and police proceedings, discrimination, and hate speech for the staff of the Sector of Internal Control and Professional Standards (SICPS) within the Ministry of Internal Affairs was held from 21 to 23 September 2015 in Ohrid. The training was delivered by three international and one national expert for a total of 28 inspectors dealing with citizens’ complaints regarding human rights violations committed by police officers. (Read more)
Works on probation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Meeting of the prison/probation teams with international consultants and the EU/CoE JP ‘’Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards’’ project team to evaluate outcomes of the pilot project on delivery of probation tasks in prison environment was held on
15-16 September in Mostar. The total of eight treatment officers and security supervisors from prisons in Banja Luka and Zenica discussed the three main activities implemented within the framework of the pilot (motivational interviews, group discussions and pre-release course) and how to take the pilot project further with the aim of spreading this good practices to other prisons in BiH at some later point. In addition, the prison probation teams discussed what, from their practical experience, would need to be featured in the draft law(s) on probation in BiH jurisdictions.
Activities on introducing probation service(s) in BiH continued over the next two days (17-18 September also in Mostar) with participation of the Working Group working under the auspices of the EU/CoE JP tasked with developing draft law(s) on probation under the guidance of the JP’s international consultant. The initial draft is structured to closely follow Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Probation Rules, with some of the key issues featured in the draft being the structure of the service(s), provisions on future personnel, status of the future service(s). More drafting session will follow before the end of the 2015 when the above issues will be discussed in more detail.
Prison staff learn basic project management to start their mini-projects in pilot prisons of Ukraine
A workshop on basic project management for senior prison staff was held in Kyiv on 15 September in the framework of the joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe on “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine”. The activity was organised under Compoment 1 of the Project: Improved rehabilitative approach in the prison regimes in line with the European standards and best practices. Teams in 6 pilot prisons are presently planning their actions based on Council of Europe experts’ recommendations.
Press conference in Skopje for presentation of the public awareness campaign on human rights and police
Continued Support in Reviewing Mental Health Legislation in Georgia
Exploring Dutch Experience in Mental Health Management
Georgian mental health policy makers and implementers have visited the Kingdom of the Netherlands to explore Dutch practices in mental health management. The visit was organised in July in the framework of the Council of Europe CoE/EU joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. (Read more)
Launch of the project "Further support to penitentiary reform in Ukraine"
Study visit in the U.K. on internal inspection of prisons
From 22 to 26 June, the Council of Europe office in Tbilisi has organised a study visit in the United Kingdom on internal inspection of prisons for representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Corrections. This study visit was organised in the framework of the EU/CoE Joint Programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” which is actively working to strengthen monitoring and investigative functions of different state bodies. (Link to project)
Assessment visit to four prison establishments in Bulgaria
Four prison establishments were visited on 17 and 18 June by two Council of Europe independent experts and assessed for their compatibility with European standards and in particular, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) standards, European Prison Rules and, the European Convention on Human Rights, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and (Read more)
Training of trainers on Human Rights of the Persons with Mental Disorders and Medical Ethics
On 10-13 June 2015, the Council of Europe conducted a training for selected trainers on Human Rights of persons with mental disorders and on medical ethics. The training was organised in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia”. International trainers introduced main ethical standards and human rights approaches to mental health issues. (Link to project)
5th training on treatment programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The fifth training for prison staff on treatment of persons serving mandatory treatment and security measure was held in Sarajevo (4-5/6/2015) within the framework of the EU JP ''Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards''. This training session marks the end of the first training cycle on treatment programmes. (Read more)
Council of Europe launched project on strengthening healthcare and Human Rights protection in prisons in Armenia
Study visit to Hungary
Study visit to Hungary for six high level representatives from the Directorate for Execution of Criminal Sanctions in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" was organized from 11 until 13 May 2015. The study visit was organized in close cooperation with the Hungarian Prison Service, and it took place in several locations in the country including Haves, County Remand Prison in Eger, Allampuszta National Prison, and the Headquarters of the Hungarian Prison Service in Budapest.
Strengthening the coordination between internal and external prison inspection bodies
Three 1-day round tables on strengthening the coordination between the internal and external prison inspection bodies were held from 7 to 9 October in Bitola, Shtip and Skopje ("The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia").
Practical recommendations to strengthen rehabilitative approach in Ukraine
After the first visits to six pilot penitentiary establishments in Ukraine, experts of the Council of Europe have provided practical recommendations for the Ukrainian prison administration on possible ways to improve rehabilitative services for inmates. (Read more)
Visit of the penitentiary institution N°16 in Georgia
On 30 September, Mr Kakha Kakhishvili, Minister of Corrections and Mr Cristian Urse, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia visited the newly opened penitentiary institution No 16 and distributed publications on Standard Medical Services in Prisons and its roadmap there.
High level expert meeting on prison staff training in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The First high level expert meeting on prison staff training in BiH with participation from the local policy makers and prison professionals and an international consultant to develop a policy document enabling creation of a more permanent prison staff training structure under the auspices of the EU/CoE JP ‘’Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards’’ was held on 23-25 September in Banja Luka.
New framework of internal prison inspection presented in Ukraine
The new framework of internal prison inspection was presented to the senior officials of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine (SPSU) and pilot prisons heads and their deputies in Kyiv on 23 September 2015 in the framework of the joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine”. (Read more)
Piloting 'Building on Competences for Prison Managers’ development programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 14-18 September 2015, the Council of Europe (CoE) piloted a personal development programme 'Building on Competences for Prison Managers’ with the participation of governors from six selected prisons (Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Foča, Mostar, Tuzla and Zenica) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Read more)
Training on effective prison inspection in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
A 5-day advanced training for future prison inspectors on effective prison inspection, including mechanisms for prevention of corruption and monitoring human rights compliance, was held from 14 to 18 September 2015 in Shtip. The training was delivered by two international and two national experts for a total of 8 participants from the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions, future prison inspectors. (Read more)
Seminar on presenting amendments to the Latvian legislation on police short term detention centers
On 14–15 September a seminar on presenting amendments to the Latvian legislation regarding the police short term detention centers was organized in Riga. The seminar presented the developments introduced to the system and draft amendments to the legal framework regarding police short term detention centers, developed by national experts in response to identified challenges as well as relevant shortcomings of detention in police establishments in Latvia. (Read more)
Closing of the six month training programme for prison regime officers in Georgia
On 15 September 2015, Mr Kakha Kakhishvili, Minister of Corrections, Mr Cristian Urse, Head of the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Georgia and Ms Maia Khasia, Director of the Penitentiary and Probation Training Centre (PPTC) have awarded certificates to 25 newly recruited prison regime officers- graduates of the long term training programme.
Advanced Training of Trainers Session on Application of the General Criminogenic Treatment Programme and the Screening Tool
A 3-day advanced Train-of-Trainers session on the application of the General Criminogenic Treatment Programme and the corresponding screening tool was held from 31 August to 2 September 2015 in Skopje. The training was delivered by two international experts for a total of 13 participants from the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions and the penitentiary institutions, (national trainers). (Read more)
Workshop on giving the right qualification to instances of ill-treatment
On 13 July, the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office has organised a workshop on giving the right qualification to instances of ill-treatment at “Rooms Tbilisi” Hotel, in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Link to project)
Presentation of the Training manual for Probation officers
The training manual for probation officers was presented and discussed among practitioners at a Round Table held in Yerevan on 06 July 2015. The training modules have been developed by a team of international and local consultants who participated at the round table. (Read more)
Assessment mission on prison health-care situation in Armenian prisons
A 5-day assessment mission was conducted within the framework of PCF project “Strengthening Health Care and Human Rights Protection in Prisons in Armenia”. The mission was lead by two Council of Europe international experts and three local experts and took place in Yerevan and other locations in Armenia in the period 29 June until 3 July 2015. (Read more)
Public consultations on a study on the Bulgarian legislation on use of force
A public event with relevant stakeholders and civil society on consultations on the study on the Bulgarian legislation on legitimate use of force, auxiliary means and firearms by the police officers was organized on 30 June 2015 in Sofia at the Academy of the Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria. (Read more)
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