A group of prison staff coming from the State Prison, Banja Luka, and Bihac prisons, as well as employees from four social welfare centers (SWCs) from Velika Kladusa, Jajce, Zenica, and Hadzici, were trained on preparing VEPs for release. The training was delivered by local trainers coming from Zenica and Bijeljina prisons and the three Ministries of Justice (BiH, FBiH and RS).
Through practical simulations and a case study scenario, the participants improved their understanding and further enhanced skills in the application of the VEP tools and programmes. As a follow up, SWCs officials will use the gained knowledge in working more closely with prison staff to pilot pre-release programmes in cases of VEPs to be released in the upcoming period.
The training deepened the partnership and strengthened communication between the centers for social welfare and prison establishments in working with VEPs. The participants emphasized that they have learnt more about each other's roles and responsibilities in this process. At the same time, they agreed to continue collaborating in support to VEPs’ reintegration upon their release from prisons.
The training session on the application of VEPs’ tools and programme took place from 20 to 22 March 2023 in Medjugorje, BiH. It was organized within the project "Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)", which is funded under the Council of Europe Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2025, and implemented by the Council of Europe.