The Council of Europe, and in particular the Unit for Cooperation in Police and Deprivation of Liberty (CPDL) acts as International Partner Organisation (IPO) within the new EEA/Norway Grants 2014 – 2021 cycle in the area of Justice and Home Affairs, Correctional Services and is continuing the cooperation established under EEA/Norway Grants 2009 – 2014 in: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Romania.
In this role, it provides advice to the beneficiary countries at programme strategic level, as well as to develop and implement ten pre-defined projects based on the Council of Europe standards in the prison and probation fields, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) country-based recommendations and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The pre-defined projects focus on strengthening the training capacities of the prison and probation centres and on rehabilitation of prisoners and offenders by piloting new open space model prisons and half-way houses, as well as pre- and post-release rehabilitation programmes.
It is also active member in three thematic Working Groups (WGs) within the Correctional Services area on: education of prison and probation staff; synergy conferences in prison and probation fields; and monitoring and evaluation of programmes. The aim of the WGs is to bring together all beneficiary countries to create synergies and exchange good practices. In this regard, the CPDL provides advice to WG members to integrate in their systems the Council of Europe standards and it shares training tools and good practices developed through CPDL co-operation activities in other member states.The advisory role of the Council of Europe is based on its extensive and recognized experience in the area of protection of the human rights of sentenced persons, persons deprived of liberty and offenders under probation. The work in this area is based on the established synergy between the relevant Council of Europe standards, the monitoring mechanism put in place to supervise their implementation by the member states (CPT) and the technical assistance activities provided to help countries in need to enhance the capacities and improve the work of prison and probation staff, and to ensure the respect of the rights of the persons in all closed environment and upon release into society.