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.
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
Public Hearing on Probation legislation in Armenia
Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries
A compilation of the reports developed within the PCF Regional project on prison overcrowding in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has been published. This compilation is available in English (Report)
Seminar on Police Interaction with Citizens in Armenia
Improving rehabilitative approaches in Prison regimes in Ukraine
Working group meeting on “Necessary legislative reforms in the sphere of healthcare in prisons in the Republic of Armenia”
Regional Conference “Criminal Justice Responses to Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries”
Outcomes of the European Union and Council of Europe Joint Project “Capacity Building of the Law Enforcement Agencies for Appropriate Treatment of Detained and Sentenced Persons” in “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
Publications and training manuals for police and prison staff
Closing of the “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” programme in Georgia
Launching conference - Support to the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism over the police work
The Project ‘’Support to the establishment of an External Oversight Mechanism’’ in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", funded by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and implemented by the Council of Europe, was launched in Skopje on 28 January 2016. The aim of the project is to provide assistance to the national authorities in the process of identifying and introducing an independent and effective External Oversight Mechanism (EOM) over the work of the police. (Read more)
"Further support for penitentiary reform in Ukraine" - Second Project Coordination Committee meeting in Kyiv
The second Project Coordination Committee meeting was held in Kyiv on 27 January 2016 to report on the work done over the first 6 months and to share the plans for the next half a year. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service, General Prosecutor’s Office, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Penitentiary Matters, the National Bar Association, and human rights protection organisations provided their feedback on the work done and gave useful comments on the planned activities. (Read more)
Second round of training of trainers on probation in Aghveran, Armenia
The Council of Europe office in Yerevan conducted the second round of training of trainers on probation on 25-29 January 2016 in Aghveran, Armenia. The training built upon the feedback received by the trainees during the first round of training conducted on 14-18 December 2015 and was based on the training manual that was revised accordingly. The aim of the training was to improve participants’ trainer skills with focus on the presentation and communication skills and the use and design of training tools. (Read more)
Workshop on best practices of prison management
On 25-26 January 2016 the Council of Europe has organised a workshop on best practices of prison management. This workshop was another activity under the European Union and the Council of Europe joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” in support of improving human rights situation in the Georgian penitentiary system. (Link to the website)
Assessment of the Suicide Prevention Programme in the prisons of Georgia
On 20-22 January, international experts of the Council of Europe have visited Georgia to assess the effectiveness of the suicide prevention programme in penitentiary institutions. This was the second interim assessment conducted in the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”.
(Link to the website)
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
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)
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)
Cascade training sessions on probation in Armenia
The Council of Europe office in Yerevan conducted during the second half of March 2016 six cascade training sessions on probation for the staff of pilot project units located in the town of Vanadzor and Shengavit district of Yerevan.
Outcomes of the European Union and Council of Europe joint Project on Human Rights and Healthcare in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions in Georgia
Development of the brochure on prisoners' rights in Ukraine
The Council of Europe national and international experts work together on the development of the brochure on prisoners’ rights, including useful practical information on admission, transfer, prison regimes, work in prison, healthcare, legal aid, contacts with the family, women and juveniles in prisons, national and international HR protection mechanisms etc.
3rd high level expert meeting on the draft Training strategy for prison staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The 3rd high level expert meeting on the draft Strategy to develop more permanent training structure(s) for prison staff in BiH was held with the senior Ministry of Justice officials tasked with execution of criminal sanctions and members of the CoE-supported prison staff training team on 18 February 2016 in Mostar, BiH. Although this activity is nominally a part of the EU/CoE Joint Programme (JP) ˝Harmonisation of BiH sanctions policies and practices in BiH with European standards˝, it builds also on the training activities undertaken within the scope of the US/CoE Voluntary Contribution project ˝Support to prison staff training in BiH˝, which runs in parallel in BiH.
Training for Trainers on “Combating Prison Overcrowding in Eastern Partnership Countries”
Overview of the "Human Rights in Prisons and other Closed Institutions" programme in Georgia