Back Authorities in North Macedonia engage to further enhance pre-release preparation and post-penal support

North Macedonia 07 March 2023
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@ Council of Europe

@ Council of Europe

North Macedonia’s stakeholders discussed the needs and specifics of developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on pre-release preparation and post-penal support, which should be designed in the upcoming period. Representatives of the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, prison and probation officers, judges, as well as civil society organizations, participated at a workshop organized on 7 March 2023 in Skopje, which paved the road for the upcoming steps that would result in a functional SOP.

Multi-agency cooperation, exchanging information in real time and case management were in the focus of the discussion, all of which will be addressed and regulated by the SOP. The participants agreed on the principles of cross-section cooperation that will be based on a detailed document drafted by the inclusive working group.

In the past, under Horizontal Facility II, beneficiaries in North Macedonia were supported in devising and putting in place a similar SOP for violent extremist prisoners, which was piloted in the second half of 2022. This experience proved vital in the preparation of the current document, as well as exceling the encountered difficulties.

This discussion was conducted in the framework of the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye – Phase III, and its action on “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system in North Macedonia”, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.