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.
Working together for better Healthcare Services in Prisons
A draft concept, guidelines as well as the tools for monitoring and assuring the quality of healthcare services in prisons have been developed by Council of Europe experts within joint Council of Europe and Europena Union project on improving healthcare services in Georgian prisons. During a 2-day workshop, on 3-4 December 2016 the experts and the representatives from the Ministry of Corrections of Georgia (MoC) had the possibility to discuss and exchange the opinions around presented draft documents. (Read more)
Workshops on good practices and case studies for police officers/staff in Romania
On 27 – 28 October 2016 and 24 – 25 November 2016 two out of five workshops for 20 police officers/staff on international standards in pre-trial detention were organized in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Launching of the project HF 6 “Enhancing human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons in Montenegro”
Podgorica, 24 November 2016
Workshop on pro-social modelling and social and life skills in Ukraine
Two parallel workshops for prison managers and psychologists were conducted on 15-16 November 2016 in Bila Tserkva, at the Penitentiary Training College.
The workshop for pilot prisons’ staff and the college faculty was aimed at introducing the key concepts of pro-social modelling and emphasizing its relevance for working with prisoners; practicing “giving and receiving” pro-social techniques; improving communication skills and developing awareness of effective questioning strategies.
Launching Conference of the Horizontal Facility Action “Enhancing the protection of human rights of prisoners in Albania”
The Launching Conference of the Action “Enhancing the protection of human rights of prisoners in Albania”, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe as part of the Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey took place in Tirana, Albania, on 15 November 2016.
Prisons free of suicide cases in Georgia
The Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union Delegation continue to support the further enhancement of skills of Georgian prison psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers in administering Suicide Prevention Programme in prisons. As a part of this support, on-site supervision of multidisciplinary teams of suicide prevention has been launched in November and will continue in December 2016 as well as in 2017. It is expected that the local experts will supervise the work of the multidisciplinary suicide prevention teams in the prior selected prisons. (Read more)
First drafting session in Skopje on the Strategy on implementing zero tolerance policy to ill-treatment in prisons
A 2-day drafting session on the Strategy on zero tolerance to ill-treatment in prisons was held on 17-18 November 2016 in Skopje. The session of the working group, composed of representatives from the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions at the Ministry of Justice and representatives from the penitentiary system, was facilitated by one Council of Europe international consultant. (Read more)
Launching Event for the Horizontal Facility Action: Enhancing the Protection of Human Rights of Prisoners in Kosovo*
The Action "Enhancing the protection of human rights of prisoners in Kosovo", co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) as part of the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and implemented by the CoE, was launched on 07 November 2016 in Pristina. It is implemented in close partnership with the Ministry of Justice (Kosovo Correctional Service and the Prison Inspectorate) and the Ministry of Health (Prison Healthcare Unit), as well as other local stakeholders. (Read more)
1st working group meeting on the review, expansion and adoption of specific modules for treatment of vulnerable prisoners in Skopje
A 2-day working group meeting was held on 1-2 November 2016 in Skopje to review the existing General Treatment Programme, which had been previously developed for the national penitentiary system under the EU/Council of Europe Joint Programme. The meeting was facilitated by three international experts for a total of 12 working group members, officials from the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions and representatives from the national penitentiary system. (Read more)
Training sessions on managing prisoners with mental health problems in Georgia
From 30 October to 1 November included, the Council of Europe international experts conducted a 3-day training session for prison staff on managing prisoners with mental health problems.
The Council of Europe welcomes the Ministry of Corrections and Probation of Georgia adopting the special form and procedure for documenting torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
On 26 October 2016, the Ministry of Corrections and Probation of Georgia adopted a special form and procedure for documenting injuries of alleged ill-treatment in prisons. Adoption of the form and its use is of significant importance as proper and timely documentation will contribute to investigating allegations of ill-treatment and fight against impunity in prisons. (Read more)
Workshop on domestic violence in Chisinau
A workshop on ‘’Domestic violence’’ for 29 police officers and staff members of the Moldovan Ministry of Interior was organised by the Council of Europe in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova on 18 and 19 October 2016. Three Council of Europe experts provided training according to the Council of Europe standards, and more particularly the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention - 2011). (Read more)
Strasbourg, 17-18 October 2016
Multilateral meeting on effective implementation of community sanctions and measures to reduce reoffending and prison overcrowding
The meeting brought together senior officials and practitioners in the probation field from a number of Council of Europe member states to share experiences and good practices regarding the implementation of community sanctions and measures and probation and to identify ways of introducing new approaches in their systems in line with the Council of Europe standards.
Exchange visit of the juvenile prisons’ staff to the Youth Probation Centre in Lviv
An exchange visit of the pilot prison staff from the Kremenchuk and Pryluky Juvenile Prisons to the Lviv Youth Probation Centre took place on 26 September 2016. This event visit was organized in the framework of the EU/CoE Joint Project “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine 2015-2017”, which is funded through the CoE/EU Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. Notably, and in cooperation with the Canada-funded Ukraine Juvenile Justice Reform Project (UJJRP). (Read more)
Workshop on good practices and case studies for police officers/staff in Romania
A first workshop (out of five) for 20 police officers and staff members of the Romanian Ministry of Interior was organized in Cluj-Napoca, Romania on 22 and 23 September 2016. This activity was organised within the framework of the Pre-defined Project, “Strengthening the capacity of the pre-trial detention system to comply with the relevant international human rights instruments” financed under the EEA and Norway Grants Mechanism and implemented by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, in partnership with the Council of Europe. (Read more)
Skopje: Launching of the Horizontal Facility Project “Enhancing human rights policing”
The Project "Enhancing human rights policing" co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe as part of the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and implemented by the Council of Europe, was launched on 21 September 2016 in Skopje. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the protection of human rights in the country in line with the Council of Europe and international standards. (Read more)
World Suicide Prevention Day in Georgia – opportunity for joint actions conjointes
The Council of Europe marked the World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2016) with a high-level meeting where the representatives of the different state institutions and independent experts debated the current situation in suicide prevention in Georgia and suggested possible future steps. (Read more)
Training of trainers in Armenia
On 5-9 and 11-15 July 2016, the Council of Europe organised two five-day training of trainers sessions (ToTs) on prison healthcare in Arthur’s Aghveran Resort, Armenia. Thirty three participants representing penitentiary institutions, the Ministry of Justice, the Yerevan State Medical University, the Ombudsman’s Office, NGOs, the Law Institute of MoJ, and the National Institute of Health were trained on two modules developed by CoE experts, namely Health prevention and promotion activities in prisons and Medical ethics and human rights for prison medical and non-medical staff. (Read more)
Review of the prisoners' complaint mechanism in Ukraine
Kyiv, 7 July 2016 - The Council of Europe experts provided a review of the existing prisoners’ complaint mechanism in Ukraine and presented their findings and recommendations to the key actors concerned with implementation of criminal sanctions. The expert discussion attracted representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, National Preventive Mechanism, General Prosecutor’s Office and human rights defence organisations. (Read more)
Assessment of the prison healthcare reform in Georgia
Launching conference in Skopje – HF Project “Strengthening the protection of the rights of sentenced persons”
Helping prisoners in Ukraine understand their rights
A practical Question and Answer handbook on prisoners’ rights in Ukraine has been developed jointly by the Council of Europe experts, prisoners’ advocates, human rights defenders, representatives of the Ombudsman Office and the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine. This self-help handbook is to be disseminated among prisoners aiming to raise their awareness on rights in confinement. It is also designed to be used by all actors involved in execution of criminal sanctions including policy-makers, prisoners’ advocates, prison personnel and non-governmental organizations.
Launching of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme “Atlantis”
Launching of the Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and other Closed Institutions
The second phase of the successful Council of Europe/European Union Project on “Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia II” has started. It will be dedicated to continuing to strengthen human rights of people in prisons, police detention and other facilities and improving access to healthcare including mental health for persons deprived of their liberty.
Multilateral Meeting on Mental Health Care in Prison
Strasbourg, 27-28 April 2016
Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Armenia
Enhanced rehabilitation activities in prisons in Ukraine: launching film clubs in pilot prisons
On 22-23 March 2016, a two-day training “Media clubs DOCUDAYS UA as a tool for human rights education” for future managers of film clubs in pilot prisons was held in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine in the framework of the Project "Further Support for penitentiary Reform in Ukraine". (Read more)
Launching event for a Prison Reform project in Bulgaria
The Council of Europe and the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria and its General Directorate Execution of Sanctions, and the National Institute of Justice marked beginning of the Project “Support for the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights Judgments and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment standards and recommendations in Bulgaria (Prison Reform)” on 6 December 2016 in Sofia. (Read more)
Developement of health screening tools for Georgian penitentiary and police detention establishments
A 2-day workshop took place on 24 -25 November in Kakheti, Georgia where the representatives of French, German and Swiss prison services presented the tools used in their respective countries to screen the mental health status of prisoners and detainees as well as the relevant procedures and tasks of the prison personnel (pathway). As a next step, the Council of Europe local expert will adjust the tools for the Georgian prisons and temporary detention isolators. (Read more)
First Steering Committee meeting of the Action “Enhancing human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons in Montenegro”
Podgorica, 23 November 2016
Working Together for Better Protection of Human Rights of those with Mental Disorders in Georgia
The Council of Europe and the European Union Delegation have launched a series of refresher training sessions on human rights of those with mental disorders and medical ethics, especially designed for the staff of psychiatric institutions. (Read more)
On-site assessment mission in Skopje regarding provision of in-service training for police officers
A 3-day assessment mission was carried out by two Council of Europe consultants from 14 to 16 November 2016 in Skopje aiming to strengthen the provision of the in-service police training through improvement of the current training programme and curricula. (Read more)
Strengthening Public Defender's Office’s capacities in monitoring mental health issues
The Council of Europe continues to support the capacity development of the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) in monitoring mental health issues in the closed institutions. As part of this support a 3-day training session was held on 3-5 November 2016, with focus on mental health services in prisons. (Read more)
On-site assessment mission on disciplinary procedures for inmates in ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’
An on-site assessment mission was carried out by two Council of Europe experts in the period 31 October to 2 November 2016 with aim to conduct situation analysis and application in practice of the existing provisions regulating disciplinary procedures and measures for prisoners in the country. (Read more)
Developing internal inspection mechanism in psychiatric institutions of Georgia
The Council of Europe is assisting the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoH) in developing a concept of internal inspection mechanism responsible for monitoring the human rights situation in psychiatric institutions. The concept paper developed by the CoE local consultant, was reviewed by the international expert and presented for discussion during the round table meeting held on 2 November 2016. (Read more)
Representatives of the Ukrainian Parliament and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in Austria
Ukrainian law-makers and high level decision makers participated in a study visit in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 26 October 2016. The visit was organised in the framework of the “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine 2015-2017” project which is funded through the Programmatic Cooperation Framework of the European Union and the Council of Europe for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. (Read more)
Conference “Vision for Change 2016”
The Council of Europe organised an international conference “Vision for Change 2016” in Kyiv on 12-13 October 2016 for prison directors. The main objective of this event was to promote awareness of and foster a discussion about international prison standards, best European practices and approaches in modern prison management in light of the ongoing penitentiary reform. (Read more)
Two-day workshops for prison managers and psychologists in Kyiv
Two parallel workshops for prison managers and psychologists were conducted on 22-23 September 2016 in Kyiv.
Supporting the Penitentiary Reform initiatives in Ukraine
International conference “Towards a Safer Society through Re-socialisation Practices” took place in Kyiv on 21 September 2016 in organisation of the Council of Europe. The event aimed to reinforce the international donors’ message on importance of the re-socialisation process (whether in custody or upon release) and demonstrate a variety of good practices in use. (Read more)
Police Code of Ethics in Georgia
The Council of Europe is assisting the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in re-visiting the current Police Code of Ethics and its teaching strategies. For that purpose, two Council of Europe international experts carried out bilateral meetings with various stakeholders in Tbilisi as well as facilitated a workshop at the Police Academy on 20-21 September. (Read more)
Training of Georgian prison staff in modern First Aid standards
On 20 September, the Council of Europe launched a series of training sessions on modern first aid standards with the aim to assist the Ministry of Corrections in preparing the non-medical staff of prisons to provide first aid for prisoners. The sessions cover the training of future trainers selected from the medical staff of the penitentiary service as well as training of the non-medical staff. (Read more)
Council of Europe continues to support the suicide prevention programme in Georgian prisons
On 23-24 July 2016, the Council of Europe (CoE) has organised a working group meeting for the newly appointed coordinators and members of the Suicide Prevention Council. This was the first working meeting of the Council after the Suicide Prevention Programme was adopted by Order of the Minister for Corrections and Probation. At the meeting, the new members of the Council and suicide programme coordinators took stock of the current situation in prisons, identified the future steps needed to reinforce suicide prevention activities, and analysed the best ways of implementing the new regulation. (Read more)
Round table in Armenia to present two training-courses developed by the CoE
A Round Table to present the modules of two training courses on health promotion and prevention and medical ethics for penitentiary medical and non-medical staff, to beneficiaries and national stakeholders took place on 4 July 2016, in Erebuni Plaza Business Centre in Yerevan.
The Round Table brought together thirty representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Penitentiary Department, Ministry of Health, Law Institute of the Ministry of Justice, Yerevan State Medical University, Ombudsman Office, as well as members of Public Monitoring Group, civil society and international organizations acting in Armenia.
Regional Workshop on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding
A Regional Workshop “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries” took place on 22-23 June 2016 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Outcomes of two projects on Prison Reform carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Study Visit to the Swedish Prison and Probation Service
A study visit to Sweden for six high-level representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia was organised from 13 to 17 June 2016.
Final Conference in Sarajevo "Prison Reform: the key element in the criminal justice system"
Sarajevo, June 3, 2016 – The final event of two complementary projects on the prison reform was held in Sarajevo last Friday. The Council of Europe implemented both projects in parallel over the past four years: the Joint EU/CoE Programme “Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices with European standards” and the Voluntary Contribution from the US authorities “Support to prison staff training in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in the Republic of Moldova
A Round Table “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Moldova” took place on 22 April 2016, at the Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel in Chisinau (Republic
of Moldova). The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Justice, penitentiary service, People Ombudsman and other officials, as well as civil society and international organizations acting in
Moldova for presenting and discussing results of the study on preventing / combating prison overcrowding in
Moldova and other three countries of Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia).
Round Table on Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Ukraine
Round table on identification of the most appropriate model for an External Oversight Mechanism over police work
Study visit to Slovenia regarding the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism over police work
A study visit to Slovenia for eight high-level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsman, Public prosecution’s Office and the civil society from ‘’the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’’, was organised from 5th to 7th of April 2016. (Read more)