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

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 directors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (of which almost a half had been appointed recently), held on 17 April 2024 in Doboj.

The aim of the meeting was to enhance knowledge of prison directors on the processes involved in the work with violent extremist prisoners (VEPs), radicalisation and violent extremism concepts, domestic regulations, tools and programmes for VEPs. Additionally, the meeting provided fora for exchange of experiences and practices with the aim to strengthen cooperation and coordination among prisons and all Ministries of Justice.

Directors of Bihać, Banja Luka, Doboj, Orašje, Bijeljina, Tuzla, Busovača, Istočno Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Mostar and Foča prisons, assistant ministers for execution of criminal sanctions from the Federation of BiH and the Republika Srpska, project working group members and local trainers for prison staff attended the meeting.

The participants learned about the tools and programmes for VEPs developed with the support of the Council of Europe and adopted by all Ministries of Justice, namely the programme of preparation for release and its successful implementation in partnership with local communities and stakeholders. Moreover, the participants were acquainted with and discussed ongoing activities, lessons learned, recommendations and challenges related to cooperation among prisons, interagency cooperation, management of VEPs and effective collection and exchange of information on VEPs and other marginalised and vulnerable prisoners at risk of radicalisation. Additionally, the participants raised their awareness of the Council of Europe work in the penitentiary area, especially the work of the Cooperation in Police and Deprivation of Liberty Division.

All participants confirmed their commitment to continued implementation of activities with the common aim of strengthening the capacities and well-being of prison staff and of effective management of VEPs during incarceration and upon release.

This activity was organised within the framework of the project "Ensuring Sustainable Penitentiary Actions in managing rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ESPA-VEP)", funded under the Council of Europe Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2025. 

Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina 17 April 2024
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