One of the main objectives of EuroPris is to be an advisory and practice-based resource to policy makers in Europe, specifically the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Since 2013 EuroPris has an observer status at the Council for Penological Cooperation (PCCP) of the Council of Europe. In this capacity EuroPris participates at the PCCP meetings and contributes to the discussions on the drafting of Council of Europe Recommendations. The following three expert groups have supported member states in implementing the Council of Europe Recommendations:
On 4 April 2018, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation CM/Rec (2018) 5 concerning children with imprisoned parents. An estimated number of 2 million children are affected by having a parent in prison in the Council of Europe region. The contact between children and their imprisoned parent can positively impact not only the child, but also the imprisoned parent, prison staff and environment, and ultimately society in general. Respect for the rights and needs of individual children and the quality of contact with their imprisoned parents is also compatible with ensuring safety, security and good order in prison. EuroPris established the expert group Children of Prisoners in 2019, to support the member states in the implementation of this Recommendation. The following tools should provide guidance in this process:
For the past three decades, the Council of Europe (COE) Recommendation (89) 12 on Prison Education have provided the principal point of reference and generally accepted standards for custodial education services. Given the time lapse since the adoption of the Recommendation, EuroPris and the European Prison Education Association (EPEA) decided to review the Recommendation and consider some of the principal developments in justice over the past three decades that have impacted on contemporary European prison education policy. The joint expert group on Prison Education worked from 2017 to 2019. The current (2018) status of implementation of the Recommendation was explored through a Europe-wide survey and a report was drafted by the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research. The expert group further reviewed the relevance of all Articles of the Recommendation and made recommendations for an update. For each article of the Recommendation, good practices were collected from the countries of the expert group members to support the implementation. The following documents are now available:
A large percentage of prisoners in Europe are foreign nationals. This group poses specific challenges to prison services in managing this group of prisoners, in respecting their fundamental rights and to be mindful of the specific problems these persons often encounter while detained abroad due to differences in language, culture, customs or religion, as well as due to disrupted family relations and contacts with the outside world. Therefore, the Council of Europe drafted the Council of Europe Recommendation on Foreign Prisoners CM/Rec (2012)12 . Since 2013 a joint expert network on Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation of EuroPris, CEP and organisations that support their nationals abroad has been working collaboratively to improve the management and resettlement of foreign nationals in European prisons by assisting in the collection, sharing and dissemination of information that provides value to interested individuals and practitioners from both network organisation. The following tools and documents that support member states in the implementation of the Recommendation have been published on developed by the Foreign Nationals network.