Welcome to the EuroPris Knowledge Management System. The table below shows questions and responses from European National Agencies. Select a question for more information or use the filters on the left to narrow down questions based on Agency or Category.
Want to ask a question? Please read our guidance information found here: Submitting a KMS Question← Back Search KMS
This content is only available to registered members of EuroPris.
NoIn your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
Yes. Half-way house is a special unit at the correctional establishment where inmates are accommodated and prepared for release. The resocialization programs of a correctional establishment are being continued and new programs and measures implemented, an individual rehabilitation plan is being developed and adjusted if necessary, so the work with inmates at a half-way house is a continuous process. An action plan on intense preparation for conditional release is developed, which sets up weekly tasks, occupation (work, education, studies), planned family visits, itineraries from/ to a half-way house, work, educational institution, home, etc. Inmates transferred to half-way houses are of low or medium risk. Inmates live two or four per room in half-way houses. Inmates accommodated at half-way houses are not guarded but supervised unlike the correctional establishments.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
Yes. Correctional establishments have agreements on cooperation with Caritas, Prisoners’ Care Association, cooperate with religious communities, state and municipal institutions, volunteers, etc. The above organizations start communicating with inmates while in correctional establishments.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
Yes. You may contact by email [email protected] for further arrangements.
Projects from the European Structural and Investment Funds are not know within the Scottish Prison Service.In your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
1. The Open Estate (HMP Castle Huntly) SPS is committed to the process of preparing all prisoners for eventual release and return to society, and to be able to cope with life and play a constructive role in the community. The Open Estate (HMP Castle Huntly) has capacity to provide up to 285 adult male prisoners serving long determinate and life sentences with phased preparation for release. SPS wishes to commission research on the role of the Open Estate in preparing these prisoners to successfully reintegrate to society. Open conditions exist to provide low supervision prisoners nearing the end of their sentence with opportunities to prepare for release by gaining unsupervised access to the community. This supports the process of rehabilitation and reintegration which is a cornerstone of SPS’ policy and practice. Prisoners may prefer open conditions for the more relaxed and less supervised regime on offer; open conditions allow for home leave and maximal family contact. This is believed to facilitate reintegration back into the community. However, not all prisoners adapt with ease to the differences between closed and open conditions, and these open conditions can present as many challenges as opportunities. The primary purpose of open conditions for long term prisoners is to: • Allow areas of concern to be tested in conditions more closely resembling those to be found in the community; • Mitigate the effects of institutionalisation which results from having spent a lengthy period in closed conditions; • Allow long term prisoners the opportunity to take more responsibility for their actions; and • Develop and advance their community reintegration plan. 2. Community Integration Units (CIUs) Community reintegration is a key component of the Scottish Government’s Reducing Reoffending Programme. Community Integration Units (CIUs) exist in a number of establishments for both males and females who women are towards the end of their sentence and who have been assessed as suitable to move to a location closer to home and family. The purpose of the CIUs is to provide local community facing facilities which will assist low supervision prisoners in the transition from prison to liberation through community based interventions, supportive health care, outside work placements and appropriate educational opportunities. Personal Community Integration Plans focus on the identified needs of each individual passing through the Units. Concentration on release and resettlement is designed to reduce the effects of institutionalisation by according the prisoner trust and requiring her to exercise personal responsibility. Gradual controlled reintegration tests the prisoner’s capability for independent living and aims to consolidate relevant social and life skills. 3. Development of a Throughcare model The SPS Organisational Review (2013) recommended that SPS should actively engage with our partners to advocate on behalf of service users on release, identify gaps in service provision and, where necessary, seek access to services to which they are already entitled as citizens of Scotland. 41 TSOs and 3 Throughcare Support Managers (TSMs) have been supporting short term non-statutory service users to ease community re-integration across eleven establishments since April 2015. The SPS Organisational Review acknowledged that TSOs have a key role to play in supporting service users prior to and on release and recommended that the role provides advocacy, motivation and support to service users transitioning between custodial and community led services. It noted that it was critically important that these staff have the necessary skills in relationship building, partnership development, advocacy, coaching and mentoring in order that partner organisations and those seeking support believe the SPS to be credible when it operates in the community. The introduction of TSOs puts SPS at the forefront of ongoing community justice reform with the focus on working in partnership with the Third Sector, Social Work, NHS, Job Centre Plus and Housing to improve re-integration planning for those leaving our care. There is an obligation on all Community Justice Partners to brigade resources behind local partnership priorities and, moving forward, the TSOs will be a key part of the SPS commitment to alignment of Community Justice resources. The SPS will: • Offer a voluntary Throughcare Support Service to those in our care serving a short-term sentence who have no statutory conditions placed on them. The Throughcare Operational Guidance document provides a full overview of the governance and assurance that supports the SPS Throughcare support model and • Commence assessment through an asset based case management process on admission to prison and continue to support service users on their journey into desistance by working with them and our partner agencies to prepare for, and successfully make, the transition from custody into the community. Evidence suggests that many of those serving short sentences have the highest risk of re-offending after leaving custody. This risk can often be exacerbated by a lack of co-ordinated support and mentoring during this early period, post release. Recognising that Prison Officers build up positive relationships and trust with those in our care throughout their sentence, the role of the Prison Officer can be extended to working across traditional boundaries and build on established relationships in order to support service users to navigate the challenges they face when re-integrating into communities on release.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
SPS has partnership agreements with a multiplicity of statutory and voluntary community based organizations. For those organizations in the Third (Voluntary) Sector, there are "Partnership Pack Agreements" to delineate the type of service being provided.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
Initial contact for further information should be to James Carnie; [email protected]
This content is only available to registered members of EuroPris.
NoIn your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
We have 3 open prisons, where the inmates are trusted to serve their sentences with minimal supervision and security. In open prisons inmates are not locked in their prisons cells and are allowed to leave the premises for specific purposes, such as going to an outside job, school, church, food market etc. The inmate is located to open prison when the inmate has passed substance abuse treatment and social programs (risk reduction programs).Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
You can find the information at http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/et/reentry-service-0In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
About mentorial and accommodation services you can contact [email protected]
NOIn your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
The Danish Prison and Probation Service has seven halfway houses with a total of 187 places. They are residential institutions for offenders during the last period of their incarceration before going back into society, and for clients under supervision. We hold the position that the halfway houses are an important element of the total sentence enforcement system and provide the best possible opportunities for resettlement and social inclusion of offenders. Particularly offenders with long-term sentences and offenders with complex personal and social problems may benefit from a stay at one of the eight halfway houses towards the end of their period of incarceration. The eight halfway houses are located at various places in Denmark, which makes it possible, to some extent, to resettle the offenders near the place where they will be living after their release. All seven halfway houses are engaged in basic resettlement activities, but a few halfway houses also focus on special target groups and actions. As an example, one halfway house is specialised in substance abuse treatment, and as mentioned another offers offenders the possibility of serving their sentences together with their families. A third halfway house pursues a concept under which convicted offenders live together with non-offenders (the plus/minus principle), which is based on research related to dilution and positive impact. Inmates are typically transferred to a halfway house for the last three months before their release. In special circumstances, such as long-term sentences or special personal or social problems, the stay may be longer. An offender is also typically transferred to a halfway house when he or she starts working in an ordinary job or embarks on a study programme in the educational system. Offenders staying at a halfway house may have to follow the same rules as those applicable in open prisons. However, they will normally be subject to the rules governing halfway houses, which implies that they only have to spend the night in the halfway house. Most halfway house employees are social educators and social workers.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
We have in Denmark extended cooperation with the municipalities and NGO’s working with inmates during the prison sentence as well as after release.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
During 2017, Directorate for Prison System and Probation provided expert support to the Office for NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in preparations for the project "Strengthening the Capacities of Civil Society Organizations to Support Effective Resocialization and Reintegration of Criminal Officers into the Community", to be implemented within of the same Operational Program. The project aims to enable the improvement of the capacity of civil society organizations for the design and development of services post penal care of, continuation of education and social reintegration of juvenile and adult offenders and improve co-operation of civil society organizations, educational institutions, adult education institutions, institutions of social welfare, social cooperatives, social enterprises established by the non-profit organizations and local and regional (regional) governments in the field of provision of services post penal care of. Tender information, which was issued in May 2018, is available (in Croatian only) through a link: https://udruge.gov.hr/eu-fondovi/ured-za-udruge-objavio-esf-poziv-jacanje-kapaciteta-organizacija-civilnoga-drustva-za-podrsku-ucinkovitoj-resocijalizaciji-i-reintegraciji-pocinitelja-kaznenih-djela-u-drustvenu-zajednicu/4687.In your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
In order to prepare for release, prisoners throughout the entire prison sentence encouraged to maintain relationships with family, contact with government bodies, institutions and organizations and individuals who are organized engaged in assistance to the prisoner for the best possible integration into life in freedom. Penalty or jail, at the latest three months before the expiration of the sentence, intensifies the procedure of involving the prisoner in individual or collective counseling regarding its preparation for release. During the consultation, the prisoners are introduced with their rights and obligations that have the expiration of the sentence. They meets him with rights that can be achieved in social welfare centers, advised him to include in the active job after leaving in freedom, and encourages him to behave responsibly. During this period, bigger prisons and jails inmates are placed in a special receiving-and-relief department, while in smaller prisons seeks to place in special rooms.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
Pursuant to the Law on Execution of Prison Sentry, at the request of a prison or jail, probation office shall prepare accept prisoners after release. After release, the convicted person may address the competent enforcement judge to provide help and support. The enforcement judge cooperates with social welfare centers who may by written decision impose the necessary measures. After release, in the social welfare centers every person has a entitled to information about rights and services, support in overcoming communication difficulties, assistance in determining the need for an initial evaluation of the possibilities for users and support and help in the selection of rights in the social welfare system. Counseling and helping an individual is a social service providing systematic professional assistance that helps individuals to overcome difficulties and create conditions for the preservation and development of personal opportunities and responsible relationships of the individual towards oneself, the family and the society. In addition, there is a relatively well-developed network of civil society organizations in Croatia, providing various services in post-treatment and acceptance (treatment of drug/ alcohol addicts, accommodation services, employment support etc.). Also during the prison sentence in prisons or jails carry out programs and projects of civil society, and cooperation in the sense of continuing the implementation of the program can be achieved at the end of a prison sentence, or the release of prisoners.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
With any additional queries please contact e-mail address: [email protected]
While executing their sentence inmates may work if they wish (and if legal requirements are met) in productive workshops manufacturing for example mattresses or fabrics. Another alternative is working in Agricultural Detention Facilities where they may be able to gain skills regarding crop production, animal breeding, dairy production etc. Further, our Correctional Code provides for “semi-open living” under the provisions of articles 59 seq. According to Art. 59 par. 1, the purpose of “semi-open living” is the occupation or other employment of the inmates outside the detention facilities (prisons) without constant supervision in order to achieve their gradual return to full freedom. At the moment the Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights is planning to implement on a pilot basis a semi-open (detainment) unit in the area of Athens for prisoners at the final stage of their sentence who have obtained full time employment (by an employer in the community).Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
EPANODOS is a Legal Entity of Private Law for the Social Reintegration of Ex-Prisoners which operates under the Supervision of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights. EPANODOS has been established in order to facilitate and support any effort towards the social and vocational reintegration of former inmates of correctional facilities. It is the first, as well as the sole, official agency providing ex-prisoners with “after-care” services to be established in Greece. According to its founding act (Presidential Decree No. 300/2003), it aims at “prisoners and ex-prisoners’ vocational support, as well as at the preparation and promotion of their social reintegration in a broad sense”. For the fulfillment of its goals, EPANODOS: Organizes programs, within correctional facilities, which prepare prisoners for life “outside prison bars” and aim at their smooth reintegration into free society. • Carries out activities aimed at prisoners’ creative occupation and training. • Carries out educational and cultural activities aimed at bringing images of free life into correctional facilities. • Cooperates with the social service staff working in correctional facilities and provides prisoners with counseling services, especially about legal matters and pending legal issues which they may encounter. Moreover, it provides social support and aid for them and their families. • Informs prisoners and ex-prisoners about their labor rights, allowances and financial reliefs to which they are entitled, about current subsidized vocational training programs and work experience programs, as well as about the existing labor supply and labor demand, always in cooperation with the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (O.A.E.D.) and other competent agencies. • Provides ex-prisoners with housing and feeding for a short period of time, meets their urgent needs and assists them in resolving specific problems which they may encounter. • Informs and sensitizes employers as well as enterprises, and also encourages policies that give priority to the employment of ex-prisoners. • Supports the establishment of social enterprises by the ex-prisoners themselves. • Informs the community about, and sensitizes it to, the problems faced by people involved in the criminal justice system and, more specifically, by juvenile offenders. • Supports any initiative taken by private bodies and volunteer organizations which is intended to combat the stigma and the social exclusion of ex-offenders. • Cooperates with the Greek Central Scientific Prison Council, the Companies of Minors’ Protection, the Social Assistance Guardians and the Minors’ Guardians; it also participates in network of the Central Scientific Council for Preventing and Combating the Risk of Victimization and Criminality of Minors (K.E.S.A.TH.E.A.), and plays an active role in the field of “after care” at national level as well as within the framework of the European Union and other international organizations. • Submits annual reports to the Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, and proposes measures and initiatives regarding the treatment of ex-offenders. In the last 2 years EPANODOS has been in constant cooperation with prison establishments around the country with the aim to develop programmes providing language skills and training to prisoners. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights and is expected to strengthen both the inmates’ preparation efforts prior to their release and their connection to the institution of EPANODOS in order to ask for support and resettlement services. Address: Derigny 28-30, 10434 Athens, Greece. Tel: 210-8815904, 210-8815032. www. epanodos.org.gr, F/B.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
Yes. Since December 2016 Latvian Prison Administration (hereinafter – LPA) is implementing 2 European Social Fund projects: "Ex–inmate integration in society and job market" No. 126.96.36.199/16/I/001 and "Raising the efficiency of resocialization system" No. 188.8.131.52/16/I/001. Both projects are implemented in collaboration with the State Probation Service. Please see attached project descriptions. Links to publications about family days in prison (within the framework of the ESF projects): In Olaine Addiction centre http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/167-turpmak-cietumi-vairak-atbalstis-ieslodzitos-un-vinu-gimenes?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 In Jeļgava prison http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/279-kanisterapija-ziepju-burbulu-darbnica-un-smilsu-aplikacijas-aizvadita-gimenes-diena-jelgavas-cietuma?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 In Jekabpils prison http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/264-gimenes-diena-jekabpils-cietuma?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 In Brasa prison http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/276-atskats-uz-gimenes-dienu-brasas-cietuma?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 In Olaine Addiction Centre http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/210-tuvinieku-vizites-olaines-cietuma-atkarigo-centra-motive-gan-klientus-gan-darbiniekus?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 Riga Central Prison Christmas http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/257-ieslodzijuma-vietas-ieskandina-ziemassvetkus-2?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 Christmas and New Years present workshop in Olaine Addiction Centre http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/254-olaines-cietuma-atkarigo-centra-klienti-gatavojas-ziemassvetkiem-un-jaunajam-gadam?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 Mothers days in Iļģuciema prison http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/182-svetki-dveselei-ieskats-ilguciema-cietuma-mates-diena?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 Press release– Not enough support for ex-inmates promotes repeated offence http://www.ievp.gov.lv/index.php/267-bijuso-ieslodzito-atbalsta-trukums-veicina-atkartotu-noziegumu-izdarisanu?highlight=WyJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMiLCJkaWVuYXMiLCJcdTAxMjNpbWVuZXMgZGllbmFzIl0 Doctors Clowns in Iļģuciema prison https://www.instagram.com/p/Bit48kTABgF/?hl=en&taken-by=jirgensons Doctors Clowns in Olaine prison https://www.instagram.com/p/BZY9RK5jZsS/?hl=en&taken-by=jirgensonsIn your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
In Latvian prison system there are no special exit units, however, there are open prison departments where those inmates with low offending risk level can have more rights than what is possible in semi-open and closed prisons. In the open prisons the conditions of freedom is applied, thus creating the preconditions for successful reintegration in society. According with Section 50.6 Part 6 of the Sentence Execution Code of Latvia, Convicted persons in open prisons have the right: 1) to move independently in the territory from the morning inspection until night-quiet in accordance with the determined daily procedures; 2) to wear personal clothing, keep money and valuables, personal computer technology with internet and personal mobile phone (that has been registered according with the order set by the Head of the prison) in their possession and to use money (make purchases) at their own discretion; 3) to receive guests and receive consignments or parcels without any restriction; 4) purchase and keep food items and basic necessity items that have been purchased outside prison territory. According with Section 50.6 Part 7 and Part 9 of the Sentence Execution Code of Latvia, With permission of the head of the prison a convicted person may acquire education in an educational institution located outside the territory of the local government in which the deprivation of liberty institution is located. With permission of the head of the prison a convicted person may leave the territory of the institution for a time period necessary to take examinations in a general or vocational educational institution. With permission of the head of the prison a convicted person may visit state and local government institutions if it is necessary for solving their social problems, also to take part in unemployment reduction events. Prisoner in open prison can be allowed to work outside prison territory. In Latvian Prison system as a sort of exit unit can be seen the Olaine Prison (Latvian Prison Hospital) Addiction centre where addiction reduction programmes are carried out. In "Pathfinder" unit are placed inmates that usually have only 4-6 months left of their sentence.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
In 2009 State Probation Service lost their post-penitentiary help function as was previously set in the law. Thus, currently in Latvia post penitentiary help in Latvia can be characterised as fragmentary as there is no unified system of institutions that would offer the same help for all persons being released from prison in all regions of Latvia. The biggest contributors to post-penitentiary help are the local government institutions because it is set in the local government institution duties. While in prison, inmates can solve multiple social issues. Social work services (as within the framework of resocialisation activities) are available to the inmates from the social-worker employed by the prison, who collaborates with State and Local government institutions as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO). To prepare inmates for release, within the framework of ESF project "Ex–inmate integration in society and job market" No. 184.108.40.206/16/I/001 until year 2022 around 3500 inmates will be given the chance to attend career consultations with NGO specialists. Project "Ex–inmate integration in society and job market" No. 220.127.116.11/16/I/001 is implemented in cooperation with State Probation Service and State Employment Agency. According with Section 10 of the Sentence Execution Code of Latvia, society shall participate in resocialisation of convicted persons in accordance with the type and scope laid down in this Code and other laws and regulations. Large contribution to inmate resocialisation (both in prison and after release) give society involvement – volunteer work. Volunteers, including companions, can be divided in three large groups – religious organizations, NGOs, volunteers without association with a specific organization. Companion (by meeting the inmate in prison) gets to know his charge/ward about one month before the time when the imprisoned person could be conditionally released. In total in Latvia around 41 volunteer organization and 34 volunteers that are not part of any organization (2017 data) works in Latvian imprisonment places.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
For more information please feel free to contact [email protected]
This content is only available to registered members of EuroPris.
• All 3 establishments have units to prepare inmates for release plus a small 22 bed Unit with semi-open conditions specifically for resettling long term prisoners back into the community. • The work carried out and delivered to the inmates within these units would be individualised. This would take into account many things, for example the risk factors and length of time in custody. This work is not static and the transition into the community is an individualised process. • The access to equipment in the semi-open unit is aimed at mirroring society in a controlled supervised manner, for example internet access. In respect of treatment needs, all inmates receive multi-agency support plus they are able to access community based services in preparation for release, for example GP’s and community addiction services.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
• As identified above the aims are to provide access to community services for treatment in preparation for release. There are many organisations that we have established relations with to achieve this. These would be in the employment & training sectors; healthcare & addiction services; mental health & counselling services; housing, finance and benefits advise; and befriender services for people with minimal social & family network. • All these organisations are accessible to the inmates within the semi-open unit and most are available in the units within the establishments. The communication would commence during custody for seamless through-care.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
No, not with European Structural Investment Funds but the Irish Prison Service works with a range of state and non-government agents to assist re-integration and reduce social exclusion on release. Please see detailed reply at question 3 below.In your prison service are there established any special units (e.g. exit units) where you place inmates before their release?
Yes. a. Open Centres Open Centres, by their description, provide a greater degree of freedom for people in prison. There are two Open Centres in the Irish Prison Service estate: Loughan House and Shelton Abbey which can provide accommodation for 255 males in total. Open Centres provide an environment of reduced security which builds trust and empowers people in prison. There are no perimeter walls. The regime is more relaxed and is the ideal environment for people preparing for release. Open Centres promote resocialisation, normalisation and progression. Open Centres provide an independent living environment where all people serving life sentences are provided with a single room. People are not locked into their rooms and the responsibility is on the individual residing there to report at number check times. Communal dining provides normality at meal times and allows people the opportunity to recreate and associate freely with each other. Mobile phones are also provided to improve family contact. The visiting areas are more family friendly and allow people greater access to family and friends. People in Open Centres may also avail of educational trips and participate in external community projects such as tidy towns and community restoration projects. The work/training areas provide opportunities for people to further develop skills and prepare for employment upon release. All people have access to career guidance and Training and Employment Officer Services. b. Independent Living Skills Units The Irish Prison Service has also established and currently operate specific special units, called Independent Living Skills Units (ILSU) since 2015. The aim of the units is to transition life-sentenced and longer term sentenced prisoners toward Open Centres and release to the community setting. The structure and work of the units in general are standardised. Social exclusion issues i.e. gender, offence-related, or risk-related differences are managed through the provision of units in more than one setting that allow context specific provision to all transitioning offenders. The units differ from standard units in looking to provide specific input in the areas of providing access to practical skills, social support skills, and an increased level of autonomy and personal responsibility. As such the following provisions differ from standard units: Regime: • Provision of cooking and personal laundering areas and equipment on unit that allow rotational designated cooking by offenders. (supported by education of same). • Access to more communal living and shared recreational spaces and experience. (TV, dining, recreation /games, library, service/therapy room). • Temporary escorted release to shop in the community (provisions) for cooking on the unit. • Increased levels of time spent unlocked and unsupervised on unit. • Democratic group led decision making of day to day running of the unit. Included in this is a fortnightly Psychology/Probation co-facilitated group that explores ongoing development of the unit. • Specific training of officer panel in to the strength and needs of offenders preparing for change and transition. Social support: • Increased time allowance of phone contact with supports to promote emotional intimacy and family attachment bonds. This includes phones installed in rooms. • Increased lengths of visiting times and access to limited food preparation for their visitors on visits. • Currently exploring a level of computers in rooms with limited access to internet and e-mail that allow access to community support and information. • Internal and external services invited to provide for specific identified needs of transitioning offenders on the unit. Autonomy and personal responsibility: • Democratic fortnightly group co/facilitated by Psychology/Probation Services where day to day running of the unit, conflict resolution, and ongoing development of the unit are explored. • Group is chaired by unelected member of the unit in rotation with responsibility for engaging with all to develop agenda for the group meeting, manage provisions monetary budget, and day to day issues.Have you established any institutional relations with organizations of post-penitentiary treatment in your country? Do these organizations communicate with inmates already during serving their prison sentence?
It is the aim of the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that all releases from Irish prisons and places of detention are planned releases to ensure the informed and effective transition of the offender from prison to the community in compliance with statutory, legal and sentencing provisions. The IPS has defined a standard practice for prisoner release planning in a central policy for prison-based staff and multi-disciplinary services. There is dedicated inter-agency co-operation within the prison estate to prepare community integration or pre-release plans across several disciplines including : Integrated Sentence Management Coordinators, Work & Training, Education, Healthcare, Probation, Psychology, Addiction, Chaplaincy, Employment & Resettlement Services. In preparation for release the IPS Healthcare team take all reasonable steps to put in place arrangements to ensure that each prisoner who requires primary healthcare services is provided with access to same on release. The IPS Healthcare team liaise with HSE services pre-release to make arrangements to address the needs of prisoners who require on-going specialist treatment post release with mental health services. The IPS Healthcare team liaise with a range of community-based services in advance of release to address the needs of prisoners who require on-going specialist treatment post release with addiction services. The IPS Healthcare team work in partnership with Merchants Quay Ireland to provide dedicated addiction supports in line with the HSE strategic plan ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery’ 2017 -2025. The IPS, in conjunction with the Health Service Executive (HSE), has commenced a pilot programme for assessing persons in custody as to their eligibility for a temporary medical card at the time of their release, acting to ensure that there is an appropriate transfer of care, and appropriate through-care for persons who are released from custody. The IPS has contracted the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders (IASIO) to provide training and employment officers and resettlement coordinators to prisons to act as a central point of reference for prisoners and external agencies in the process of identifying suitable accommodation and employment/training options prior to release. These agents take a case management approach to intervening with a prisoner 9 to 12 months pre-release to commence planning for post-release supports and training, including amongst other functions, working with the individual in custody to identify barriers to change, and submit job applications, make links with training facilities, and submit housing, welfare and medical card applications well in advance of release. The IPS has agreed inter-agency protocols with the Departments of Social Protection and Housing who are pivotal partners in the context of planning more effectively to reduce the risk of homelessness and destitution for prisoners on release and to improve employment prospects. The IPS is seeking to put in place a protocol with the Department of Social Protection ‘Intreo’ Employment Services in order to ensure that progression plans developed with IASIO Training and Employment Officers are made available, by agreement to Intreo Case Workers to continue to support the employment of ex-offenders on release. The IPS has work and training facilities in which prisoners can avail of accredited training in vocational skills such as catering, laundry, cleaning, IT, horticulture, printing, recycling, construction skills etc., which will improve their chances of employment on release. Education in Irish prisons is provided by the statutory Education and Training Boards and includes a broad and flexible curriculum from basic learning and state examinations up to Open University. Education programmes also include pre-release courses and career guidance and the Prison Education Centres also facilitate links with external further education colleges for ex-offenders to continue their education on release. The IPS has established vital strategic and common goal partnerships and joint-initiatives with the Probation Service and An Garda Síochána to reduce re-offending and improve stabilisation post-release. The IPS works with a range of non-government bodies and charitable organisations to provide support, advocacy and guidance services to prisoners post-release, many of whom provide a prison visiting or in-reach service in advance of release.In the case, that any of your previous answers are affirmative, can we address you with the request for detailed information?
Kieran Moylan, Principal Officer [email protected]
Supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union