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.
Introduction: EuroPris, in co-operation with Criminal Justice Platform Europe will host an event in July in the form of a webinar. The general purpose of the webinar will be to raise awareness on victims' rights and victims' needs among prison, probation and restorative justice professionals and explore possible activities or other ways that the prison and probation could work with a higher victim-sensitiveness. The report generated by this KMS will serve as a focal point for that event as it will provide an overview of the member's work on victims of crime.
This belongs to another general directorate of the Ministry of Interior.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Mainly, in relation with the implementation of restaurative programmes.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
The programmes refered above.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
According to our legislation, victims have the right to be informed about the penal procedure and some of the administrative decisions in the execution phase. They also have the right to protest aginst some specific administrative decisions taken during the execution of the sentence.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
Mainly, armonising the interest of the victim and the interest fot the social reintegration of the offender.Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
Yes.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
This does not belong to the prison service.What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
Mainly, therapeutical intervention.
Investigators of the Latvian Prison Administration (hereinafter – Administration) Investigation department conduct pre-trial investigations in criminal proceedings, without delay, making reasonable and lawful decisions on the progress of criminal proceedings in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law (hereinafter – Law).Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Investigators of the Administration Investigation department participate in training courses and seminars that are directly related to investigation issues, including the rights of victims of crime.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
The Administration Investigation department does not have specifically developed programmes or guidelines for work or contact with victims of crime. When conducting pre-trial investigations in criminal proceedings, investigators shall be guided by the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Law regarding the victim and his or her representation, without encountering obstacles or problems.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
See answer to Question 3.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
See answer to Question 3.Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
According with Section 971 Paragraph 1 Clause 4 of the Law, a victim has the rights to settle with a person who has inflicted harm to him or her, as well as to receive information regarding implementation of the settlement and its consequences.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
Investigation Department of the Administration does not collect data regarding victimisation in detention.What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
The Administration officials take the necessary preventive and operational measures to prevent the criminal offenses and victimization.
It's not the responsibility of the prison service.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Restorative justice (mediation) training is included in the correctional officer professional education curriculum. Introductory training provides knowledge on the offender-victim relationship, how much an offender him/herself was a victim and what impact it had on his/her life.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
NoWhat aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
Article 6.5 Right to receive information about their case 5. Member States shall ensure that victims are offered the opportunity to be notified, without unnecessary delay, when the person remanded in custody, prosecuted or sentenced for criminal offences concerning them is released from or has escaped detention. Furthermore, Member States shall ensure that victims are informed of any relevant measures issued for their protection in case of release or escape of the offender. Article 12.1 Right to safeguards in the context of restorative justice services 1. Member States shall take measures to safeguard the victim from secondary and repeat victimisation, from intimidation and from retaliation, to be applied when providing any restorative justice services. Such measures shall ensure that victims who choose to participate in restorative justice processes have access to safe and competent restorative justice services.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
Victims usually refuse restorative justice services. The legislation stipulates that a victim should be informed on an offender’s release three days before release, but sometimes it‘s impossible as the phone number or a place of residence may have been changed.Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
In Lithuania mediation is implemented in probation, but it can be applied at any stage of criminal justice process.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
Statistical data on pre-trial investigations in penitentiary facilities is accumulated, but it won‘t show the complete picture of victimization as inmates usually do not seek assistance from/report to the correctional staff.What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
Penitentiary facilities take individual actions to prevent the victimization of inmates, but no legal regulation is in place. Risk assessment instruments, approved and applied in Lithuania, such as HCR-20, SVR-20, PCL:SV, OASys, START: AV allow to identify victimization-related factors. Where necessary, the social rehabilitation plan shall include appropriate security measures.
This content is only available to registered members of EuroPris.
At the latest on the day when this fact happens, the injured party or witness is sent a notice on the release or escape of the prisoner from a prison, if he/she has enforced this right via the court. In case of release of a perpetrator of domestic violence, the District Office of the Police Force according to the permanent residence of the prisoner is sent electronically a notice on the forthcoming release from prison two months ahead.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Victimology, that includes rights of victims, is a part of the initial training of all prisoners.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
Each prisoner within the treatment program is set the aim for restoration of relations disrupted by the offence and possible settlement of relations with victims of crime. Directly targeted work is realized in the national program “Chance for Return” in a specialized re-socialisation and edifying-educational program called Family and Relations of Inmates in the thematic part Impact of Crime on Family.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
On the basis of the call of the European Parliament to Member States for improvement of national laws to combat all forms of violence against women, the re-socialisation program for perpetrators of domestic violence is implemented in selected prisons.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive? Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
No. However, we are considering to create standards of a restorative prison program in cooperation with external organisations committed to restorative justice, that we would pilot-verify and based on the results obtained we would proceed to a comprehensive implementation. In the phase of the summarisation of technical background papers we performed at the beginning of this year a questionnaire survey via the EuroPris KMS focused on application of restorative programs in the individual Member States of Europris. The results are to be found at https://www.europris.org/epis/kms/?detail=404.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
noWhat measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
Prisoners have the right for protection against forcible violence and any human dignity humiliation expressions. If a prison officer finds out a breach or threat of violation of this right or if an inmate announces such fact to a prison officer, the prison officer is obliged to take the necessary measures for the prevention of such conduct and reports to the Prison Governor or another authorised superior. For the purpose of diagnostics of social atmosphere, climate and relations, communities are organised at regular intervals, interpersonal conflicts are mediated on the part of the prison staff and in case of any suspicion or finding of any expressions of victimisation, inmates are provided crisis intervention and psychological care. Particularly vulnerable persons (mentally disabled and the like) are provided special support in specialized treatment units. At the same time, for the purpose of protection of safety of the inmates, if necessary it is possible to place the sentenced individual to the cell/room separately. Victimisation of detainees in pre-trial detention is minimised also by application of principles of detainees´ placement to cells. Following detainees are placed separately: - men from women, - juveniles from adult detainees, - detainees prosecuted for criminal acts according to § 47 par. 2 of the Penal Code or prosecuted for criminal acts for which a life sentence can be imposed according to the Penal Code from other detainees, - detainees, prosecuted for negligence criminal acts from other detainees, - detainees from prisoners with final judgement.
We are responsible to discuss the victim´s point of view with our clients and also to assess the offender´s understanding of own responsibility and skills of empathy, and if there is a lack of empathy try with different kind of interventions to increase the offender´s understanding of the consequences of his/her behaviour and to increase the understanding from the victim´s point of view. As a public organization we are also obliged to advice the victim where he/she can get help. We assess the possibility of restorative measures in our presentence report phase and in the execution processes of community sanctions and measures.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Not by our service.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
The Criminal Sanctions Agency is working under the Ministry of Justice. The Criminal Sanctions Agency currently have a procedure to post-process serious crimes. The Restorative dialogue, ReDi (concept used before: mediation) of serious crimes is a procedure, where the victim, or the relative of a victim of homicide can meet up with the perpetrator, which have been prepared by trained facilitators - when specific requirements are met. This procedure provides an opportunity to alleviate the consequences of the crime and the repercussions and sufferings of the crime to victims, perpetrators as well as relatives of the victims. To the victim the restorative process offers an opportunity to get answers and explain how the crime has had an impact on them and their relations. The perpetrator gets an opportunity to face the consequences of the crime, answer any questions and apologise and compensate their act. The post-process of serious crimes can be initiated by either the perpetrator, the victim or the relative of the victim. Large parts of initiations have come from perpetrators. The prisoners, who have been found guilty of violent crimes want to explain their act, apologise, show their remorse, or let the relative of the victim know that they do not have to be afraid of revenge. The relatives of the victims generally want to know the motive of the act. The reasons for why the act was committed to the victim. The dialogue can produce information about the crime and clarify if the crime could have been somehow prevented. The relatives of the victim can be tired of feeling hatred and would like to have comfort in their grieving process. (Konttila 2020) This restorative method (ReDi) has four stages. 1. Initiative stage, where two trained facilitators meet up with the maker of the initiative. During the initiative stage the suitability is assessed after which contact is made with the other party. 2. During the preparation stage feelings and needs, benefits and risks are mapped out. 3. Meeting. To ensure that a safe and confidential atmosphere is created and assessment of immediate effects on both parties by means of interviewing. 4. Monitoring. The Criminal Sanctions Agency has actively progress with advance restorative practice in their units. The Criminal Sanctions Agency has named and trained contact person of restorative practice in each unit. With the help of contact person is to increase knowledge of restorative practice through which is to raise awareness victim awareness as well as the opportunity to consider the post- process. In some of the prisons, The Criminal Sanctions Agency has created restorative rehabilitation departments, which purpose is to increase restorative practice through open interaction as well as address matters in a deeper manner. This enables the basis of rehabilitation among prisoners. As part of the rehabilitation department activity, the prisoners are offered an opportunity to participate in e.g. Cognitive Self Change- programme, during which victim awareness is also handled. Mediation practice between prisoners has also been started in the prisons.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
(5) and (6): We have a national governmental goal of improving policies to combat all forms of violence against women and to act in order to tackle the causes of violence against women, not least by employing preventive measures, and called on the Union to guarantee the right to assistance and support for all victims of violence. Several development project are ongoing and these are funded by the Ministry of Justice. (14): The children's best interests area primary consideration, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted on 20 November 1989. Child victims are considered and treated as the full bearers of rights set out in this Directive and are entitled to exercise those rights in a manner that takes into account their capacity to form their own views. (15)The victims with disabilities are treated with equal rights and including by facilitating the accessibility to premises where criminal proceedings are conducted and access to information The change in legislation of the imprisonment legislation 19 chapter, which handles the notification and information sharing is meaningful for the victim`s point of view. In chapter 19 section 4 § regulates the reporting of the release of the prisoner or leaving the prison. The legislation was changed that the authority should inform the victim of the crime, when the victim has asked to do so, when a prisoner or a remand prisoner is released or a leave, when it’s a specific matters registered in the law, which target threats to life, health, freedom or peace or sexual offences. The Restorative dialogue in serious crimes and post-process of crimes always function on the needs of victims or victims’ relatives. First the needs of the victim - victim relatives are handled, so there will not be any re-traumatisation etc. It will be contemplated what the victim or the relative of the victim require and how can they be supported. (18), (20), (24), (32), (37) and (38) are also relevant in the probation service. The rights of the victim, to guide the victim where to get help and to have right kind of criminal proceedings are issues relevant in the probation service.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
Both governmental and third sector organisations are working with these matters, and a clear written process map could help that the interventions are taking place in right time and by the right organization. Increasing the awareness of the appropriate party (victim or relative of the victim) of the opportunity to obtain information of the release of the prisoner or permission of leave. Increase the knowledge of Victim Directive among the prison authority. The Criminal Sanctions Agency has previously focused strongly perpetrators of crimes. However recently the victim point of view has increasingly been elevated. It has been notices that restorative dialogue supports the relatives of homicide victims and at the same time it supports the offender in the rehabilitation process. This activity requires commitment from the staff. Resources and training, which in turn will requires budgeting towards it. The perpetrator, which has been convicted of the crime has often at some point in their life experienced being a victim. The stance of the perpetrator towards the authority can be a barrier for open interaction. The identification of the victim of crime during the prison sentence require more training. The biggest issue of stabilising the post-process procedure is relating to funding. It has been hard to find an organisation, who would take the responsibility of the procedure to continue and hard to find funding. Finding alterative procedures alongside existing ones. The information sharing between authorities should be fluent and up-to-date. During imprisonment and remand imprisonment the prison authority should ensure that among other things restraining orders are implemented.Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
Yes, we do. It is under the responsibility of the mediation offices. In the probation service we assess if there could be a possibility of restorative measures and discuss the with our clients and then refer the client to the mediation offices.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
-What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
The Secretariat of Criminal Sanctions, Rehabilitation and Victim Support is responsible for prison services, probation services, juvenile justice, victim support service, psychosocial forensic teams advising the courts and the restorative justice teams. Therefore, victims of crime are indeed responsibility of our institution through the dedicated victim support service but also through the other services in the aspects that relate to the victim. This particular organisational framework allows for the victim perspective to inform practice and policy of all of the services of the Secretariat including the prison services.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
The initial training courses for prison officers and treatment professionals (psychologists, educators, criminologists and lawyers) includes a module on the legal framework which elaborates on the Victim’s Directive 2021/29/UE and its transposition into Spanish national law, through the Victim’s Charter Law (Ley 4/2015, de 27 de abril, del Estatuto de la víctima del delito). Moreover, treatment professionals receive training on how to implement the specific programmes for offenders convicted for violent offences, sexual related crimes, gender violence, traffic offences or drug abuse. All these programmes cover several aspects related to the victim perspective such as victim empathy, the victimisation process, the crime impact on the victim network, reparation and compensation.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
When the court has imposed a restraining order on an inmate, coordination protocols between the prison treatment staff and the victim support service staff are set up with the goal of guaranteeing proper compliance of a restraining order. In particular, such coordination ensures that the victim are duly and timely informed when the inmate has been granted a prison leave or when there is any other update with regard to the inmate that is relevant for the enforcement of the restraining order. There are also protocols between the prison services and the restorative justice programme in order to favour the access to a restorative process by inmates, both pre-trial and sentenced. Currently, the Secretariat is working on improving the victim perspective across the different stages of the prison sentence through 4 strands: restorative justice, purposeful intervention with the inmate, training and coordination.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
The Victim Support Service and all the responsibilities and support that is meant to provide to victims and citizens. The Restorative Justice programme, accessible and available to all victims. And the importance of ensuring that the general public is fully informed. In addition, sentenced inmates in order to be advanced to open regime or conditional release, are requested to demonstrate their willingness to repair the damage caused by starting to pay the economic compensation to the extent possible according to their means (based on the prison treatment board report and approved by the Court). Participating in a restorative process may also be relevant in this respect.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
We encounter several challenges when implementing the Victims’ Directive but we could highlight the following ones: •Render the victims’ rights and needs effective across all the stages of the criminal process and the prison system. •Give more relevance to the victim perspective in the criminal process and the prison system. •Not having sufficient human and material meansDo you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
As mentioned, the Restorative Justice programme is accessible to all victims and offenders who wish to initiate a process. Facilitators will conduct a restorative process with victim and offender which can include direct or indirect mediation, restorative dialogues, conferencing or circles. Moreover, as mentioned above, the specific treatment programmes addressed to offenders of specific crimes, cover aspects such as victim empathy, the impact of the crime on the victim and his/her network, the victimisation process and reparation or compensation. In the last stages of the programmes specific on sexual violence crimes or traffic offenses, an NGO in coordination with the prison treatment staff, will organise a talk in the prison where a victim of that type of crime, volunteers to share their victimisation process with that group of offenders. In addition, gender violence awareness raising activities are organised on 25 November (international day for the elimination of violence against women).Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
When an incident between inmates takes place, a study of the case is made by the sanctioning committee of the prison that will initiate a sanctioning file which includes an investigation and a final decision on whether an inmate should be sanctioned. Inmates have the right to appeal such decisions before the Prison Supervision Court. When an inmate claims having been victimised by a prison officer, the Prison Supervision Service, which belongs to the Secretariat, will initiate a process in order to investigate the facts so that it can be decided whether a sanction should be imposed on a prison officer. The number of processes carried out to assess the facts and the conclusions of the investigations are introduced in an information system. Moreover, the inmates can file a complaint or an appeal against the prison administration before the courts or the Prison Supervision Prosecutor. Finally, any citizen that is serving a prison sentence or probation and claims to have suffered a violation of their rights by the prison administration, has the right to file a complaint before the Catalan Ombudsman and the Spanish Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will refer the complaint to the Secretariat that shall investigate the matter and provide a formal answer. We are currently working on designing a service that could be available for inmates have been victimised inside the prison.What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
There is a mediation programme in two of the prisons, with the goal of addressing conflicts arising between inmates and thereby prevent escalation and further victimisation. It is run by an NGO and funded by the Ministry of Justice. In certain cases, when there are grounds to consider that a conflict could escalate and pose a risk for an inmate, art. 75 of the Prison Regulations allows to move him/her to a different unit or prison. In addition, the decisions on the placement of an inmate in a particular unit of the prison will take into account the particular inmate’s needs or vulnerabilities such as disabilities, mental health disorders or their age (elder inmates).
The State has the authority to act towards lawbreaking behavior. On behalf of the victim, an offender is accused by the State. This basic principle, for all justice actors, makes the victim the major purpose of our work. The need to raise the awareness on victims in all judicial sector are an ongoing issue in Norway. The Norwegian Correctional Service has a purpose of the sentence that serves to prevent the commission of new criminal acts. The prisons are obliged to offer all inmates an opportunity to undergo a restorative process. The main responsibility for the content and process is given the The National Mediation Service (Konfliktrådet). This is a subordinate agency of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. The cooperation between the National Mediation Service and the Correctional service is close, locally as well as on the national level. The number of inmates undergoing a restorative process is low. Victims are also included in the regulations concerning notification of permit to release, day-leaves from the prisons etc. There can also be conditions made to protect the victim at the release of the inmate. There is an option to prohibit the inmate to get in touch with victims (or other persons). The corredtional service include NGO’s as representatives in processes concerning victims. The give us perspectives of importance in complexed analyses and development-processes.Are you including victims’ rights in your professional training? If yes, how?
Yes. The general professional training for all prison-officers include victims rights, and inmates options to undergo a process of restorative justice under the National Mediation Service in included in the academy of prison officers.Are there specific programmes or guidelines in use to target, or when in contact with victims?
Yes . The Correctional Service has made guidelines in 2018 on cooperation between NMS and The Correctional Service.What aspects of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) are relevant to your work?
The Directive has been relevant to develop legal and practical conditions for the victims. The rules of avoiding contact between victim and offender is implemented in the prison legislation. Also the Dirctives’s rules about the police and courts are imlpemneted to a large degree in Norwegian legislation. In the sector of prisons, the awareness of the EU Victim’ Rights Directive could be higher. In june 2021 a White Paper to the Parliament of the future Correctional service and sentencing was delivered. One of three highlighted issues were the development of the victims of crime and their place in this sector. The EU Victim ‘ Rights Directive will definitely be a major guideline in the further development, politically as well as professionally.What barriers or problems have you experienced in applying the Victims Directive?
The attitudes of victims in the whole criminal justice sector has to be further enhanced. A good impression is givene in the article “EU's ‘Victims’ Directive’ – A Legal Act for a Cultural Change?” (International Journal for Court Administration, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2017) written by Bernt Bahr and Jenny Melum.Do you have victim-awareness/restoration programmes, e.g. victim-offender encounters/mediation?
See question no 1.Regarding victimisation in detention, is data being collected on this matter? If yes, please provide a summary of the results for 2020.
No data is collected in Norway.What measures are taken to prevent prisoners to be victimized?
This aspect is very interesting but has so far little attention in our service. Inmates are to some extent given psychological treatment by health service. Here individuals may focus on their experience and feelings of the trauma being victimized. We know that many of inmates serving time for sexual abuse have been abused themselves, often from young ages. The prison service has no collected information on these treatments, but we are aware of the issue. Another organization which may discuss these themes are NGO of ex- convicted (WayBack). Their perspective of taking care of released persons from prisons should be familiar of inmates stigma and later on the feeling of victimization.