On 1 April 2022 the Council of Europe initiated the implementation of a 30-month project entitled “Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)”. It is implemented in close cooperation with the three Ministries of Justice (Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of BiH, and Republika Srpska), and their respective partners from the entity and state penitentiary institutions.

The overall objective of the project is to provide continued support to the BiH authorities in their efforts to further build the capacities of the prison system and strengthen practical skills of prison staff with respect to managing violent extremist prisoners (VEPs). This will also ensure sustainability of the actions undertaken towards efficient reintegration of the VEPs back in the community.

The project has an overall budget of 700,000 EUR and is financed under the Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2020–2025 and will be completed by 30 November 2024

Project documentation

Useful information

project news

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Prison directors further enhance knowledge on effective management of violent extremist prisoners

17 April 2024 Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

For effective management of prisoners, it is essential for senior level prison management to regularly renew and enhance their knowledge of the latest international and domestic developments in the field. Therefore, the Council of Europe organised an awareness raising workshop for all prison...

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: support to authorities in improving well-being of staff working with violent extremist prisoners

21-22 March 2024 Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Working with prisoners is a very demanding job; working with violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) and prisoners with a tendency to radicalisation can put an additional psychological pressure on prison staff. For the latter to be able to do their job without feeling intimidated or stressed and...

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Second group of prison staff successfully completed training on management of violent extremist prisoners

8-9 February and 22-23 February 2024 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The second group of prison staff from Bosnia and Herzegovina, coming from multidisciplinary teams working directly with violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) or inmates at risk of becoming radicalised, have completed all six modules of the new specialised in-house training programme, facilitated by...

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Call for proposals on award of a grant to implement a series of activities on establishing inter-agency coordination platforms

10 January 2024 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council of Europe is launching a call for proposals on award of a grant to implement a series of activities on establishing inter-agency coordination platforms within the framework of the Project “Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist...

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First group of prison staff successfully completed specialised training on violent extremism and radicalisation

23-24 November and 7-8 December 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sixteen prison staff from Bosnia and Herzegovina, coming from multidisciplinary teams working directly with violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) or inmates at risk of becoming radicalised, have completed all six modules of the new specialised in-house training programme for prison staff,...

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Council of Europe supports authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in developing information-sharing protocols on radicalisation

30 October 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The first working group (WG) session, gathering the representatives of entity Ministries of Justice, Federal Police Administration and Police of Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Centre of Social Welfare from Jajce, Bijeljina and Zenica prisons, and the State prison, took place on 25-27...

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Steering Committee members take stock of progress under the radicalisation project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

16 June 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 3rd Steering Committee (SC) meeting of the project "Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)” took place on 14 June 2023, in Konjic. Decision-makers from the three Ministries of Justice and prison...

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Importance of interagency cooperation in rehabilitation work with violent extremist offenders highlighted in Bosnia and Herzegovina

11 May 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Good cooperation between the different agencies involved in the rehabilitation of prisoners is a key prerequisite for success. It is with this awareness that representatives of the ministries of justice, prisons, Jajce, Velika Kladuša, Zenica and Hadžići social welfare centres and a...

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Guidebook and training programme on addressing radicalisation in prisons of Bosnia and Herzegovina finalised

28 April 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

A Working group composed from Council of Europe project partners representing the entity Ministries of Justice, prisons in Bijeljina, Zenica, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Mostar and the State prison met on 27-28 April 2023 in Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to finalise the Guidebook for operational work, a...

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BiH authorities discussed methodology for prison staff training on managing violent extremism

30 January 2023 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Working Group (WG) session on developing specific training programme for prison staff working with violent extremist prisoners (VEP), with focus on the legislative and institutional framework, took place from 26 to 27 January in Konjic. The meeting brought together representatives from the...

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Study visit to the French Department of Prison Administration

30 November 2022 Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 29 and 30 November 2022, representatives of the Ministries of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska (RS) and prison practitioners from prison establishments under their respective jurisdictions (BiH delegation) paid a visit to the...

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The Council of Europe assessed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s prison staff training needs on addressing radicalisation and violent extremism

18 November 2022 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The presentation of the results from the training needs assessment visit under the project "Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)" was held on 18 November, 2022 in Sarajevo. It featured the main...

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First Steering Committee Meeting on the “Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)” project

23 June 2022 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The first Steering Committee (SC) meeting of the project “Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)” was held on 21 June in Banja Luka. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of...

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