Word from the Chair

Transforming the system of execution of penal sanctions and measures: the Council of Europe is on the forefront in Europe

Nadya Radkovska (Bulgaria), PC-CP Chair

Welcome to the PC-CP website, which provides you with the most recent information related to the Council of Europe standards and principles in the field of execution of custodial and non-custodial penal sanctions and measures. The Council of Europe is an important standard - setting body and a platform for exchange of experience and professional inspiration. The standards and principles are regularly reviewed and revised as necessary by the Council for Penological Co-operation (PC-CP) which is the expert committee working in this area. It is composed of 9 elected members who are renowned experts in the prison and probation field and who work in their personal capacity, and it also holds one a year a meeting with representatives of the 46 Council of Europe member States. The texts and work are approved by the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe formally adopts the standards and the recommendations.

New phenomena are appearing in the field, new generations of staff are entering the prison and probation systems, new profiles of prisoners and probationers are affecting the rehabilitation methods and programmes. This increases the importance of the role played by the Council of Europe in supporting the national authorities of the member States in designing and implementing innovative penal policies based on the three main pillars of the Organisation: human rights, rule of law and democracy.

You will find in the Compendium a collection of the main texts related to our field of interest.

In addition, the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics SPACE I and SPACE II (collected since a number of decades already) put together a vast number of data related to prisons and probation. They are a very valuable source of information and of scientifically monitored numbers which assists not only policy deciders, professionals and researchers in Europe but also worldwide in analysing the situation with the execution of penal sanctions and measures in Europe country by country but also in gaining a comparative view of the evolutions across Europe.

Each year the Directors of the Prison and Probation Services of the Council of Europe member and observer States as well as representatives of UNODC, EU, EuroPris, CEPICPA and EFRJ meet at a high-level Conference to discuss the latest developments in the field and be updated on the most recent Council of Europe standards and recommendations.

Over the next two years, the PC-CP will prepare a draft CM Recommendation on Ethical and Organisational Aspects of the Use of Artificial Intelligence and related Digital Technologies by Prison and Probation Services as well as a White Paper on the management of offenders with mental health disorders by the prion and probation services.

The PC-CP Working Group and Secretariat:

Photo © Council of Europe: Elected members of the Council for Penological Co-operation (PC-CP) Working Group and Secretariat: Paulina Tallroth, Maria Lindström, Dominik Lehner, Annie Devos (Vice-chair), Laura Negredo López, Manfred Kost, Nadya Radkovska (Chair), Jorge Monteiro, Ilina Taneva (PC-CP Secretary), Christine Coleur (Secretariat).   

Background documents