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’ętre 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.
Closing of the “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” programme in Georgia
"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)
REPORT "Combating Ill-treatment in Prison"
The report follows upon a multilateral meeting held in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 23-24 April 2015 which brought together management staff from prison services from across Europe to address issues of common concern. This text is designed for practitioners as a reference document when dealing with prison management issues.
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)
Training of Trainers on Probation in Armenia
Training prosecutors in the standards of effective investigation in Georgia
The Council of Europe continues supporting the authorities in bringing their practices closer to the European standards and with this aim, is training prosecutors in the standards for effective investigation of human rights violations. The training will take place on 15-16 December, in the framework of the European Union/the Council of Europe joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. (Read more)
Follow-up Seminar to Study Visit to the UK on Prison Inspection and Prisoners’ Complaints held in Kiev
A follow-up seminar was organised in Kiev on 4 December 2015 to sum up the results of the Study Visit to the United Kingdom on 23 - 27 November 2015. The seminar turned into a discussion ground for sharing the participants’ feedback and study visit learning.
Assessing Reform of Healthcare Services in Prisons in Georgia
On 3 December 2015, the Council of Europe is starting an assessment of the implementation of the Georgian Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2014-2017. The activity is organised in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”.
First round table to promote treatment programmes for vulnerable categories of prisoners
On 22-23 October 2015 the first round table to promote implementation of Guidelines for developing treatment programmes and individual sentence plans for vulnerable categories of prisoners in BiH was held in Mostar. The Working Group comprising of local policy-makers and prison experts drafted guidelines fostering humane treatment of vulnerable prisoners while, at the same time, ensuring protection of their human rights and programme of activities tailored to their needs and risks they present to themselves and the community as a whole.
Working Meeting on Prison Overcrowding in Kiev
Combating prison overcrowding and use of alternative sanctions and measures has been a challenging issue for the Eastern Partnership countries during last decade. In order to move effectively from punitive to rehabilitative execution of criminal sanctions, overcrowding of prisons must be addressed.
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.
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.
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.
Overview 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)
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)
PCF promotional project films on Youtube
Don't hesitate to check the PCF Youtube channel below to watch the films made about the Programmatic-cooperation framework for promoting penitentiary reform: (Link to the website)
On-site assessment mission in ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’
On-site assessment mission was carried out by two Council of Europe experts on 16, 17 and 18 December 2015 with aim to conduct situation analysis of the existing oversight mechanisms for control over the police work in the country.
Training prison managers in suicide prevention activities in Georgia
Prison directors, deputy directors and chief doctors enhanced their knowledge on stress and other factors affecting the emotional state of prisoners and increasing the risks of suicide and self-harm, during the training conducted on 10-13 December, in the framework of the Council of Europe/European Union joint project ”Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”. (Read more)
Elaborating a professional development course for prison medical staff in Georgia
The Council of Europe is assisting the Ministry of Corrections of Georgia to develop a long term training programme for prison medical staff. In this process, the first working group meeting will take place on 2-3 December 2015 in Lopota Lake Resort, organised in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme on “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions”.
Study Visit to London of Ukrainian Senior Officials and Heads of Pilot Prisons
A study visit of Ukrainian Senior Officials and Heads of Pilot Prisons was organised in London from 23 through 27 November to familiarise with work of Prison Inspectorate of England and Wales. This visit was organised in the framework of the PCF Project “Further Support for Penitentiary Reform in Ukraine” under Component Two of the Project focussed on strengthening procedures and practices of the internal inspection in Ukraine. (Read more)