What is the project about?
The project will contribute to the overall improvement of the enforcement of penal sanctions in the Republic of Serbia. For this purpose, it aims at improving capacities of the prison administration supporting further development of Alternative sanction system based on recommendations from the Final Report of the IPA 2010 SAS Project, and post-penal care. The project will also contribute to the establishment of an efficient healthcare system for inmates.
Overall objective, purpose and expected results
To further improve the enforcement of penal sanctions.
To improve the capacities of the prison administration in the area of alternative sanctions, post penal and healthcare of prisoners.
Result 1: Wider application of alternative sanctions
Result 2: Efficient and effective cooperation of all entities involved in post penal care
Result 3: An improved health care system in prisons across Serbia
Components of the project
The project has 3 components:
1. Alternative Sanctions
The present range of alternative sanctions is mainly reliant on the sanction of house arrest with and without electronic monitoring. Less popular is a community service and conditional release with protective supervision.
The project introduces new activities for the commissioners working in the Department for Treatment and Alternative Sanctions. Although staff resources have been limited, commissioners have extensive experience working with offenders in the community. The project will develop activities that require Commissioners undertaking different activities which will include the delivery of pro-social programmes for convicts serving house arrest. These activities will be held in commissioner offices and delivered to a group of convicts. This may expand work of the commissioners and treatment staff engaged on alternative sanctions, supervising those given prison early release. Their new task of delivering pro-social programmes to offenders serving home arrest, will provide new opportunities to encourage desistance. Sustainability of these interventions will be encouraged through training programmes and particularly the ‘Training of Trainers’.
2. Post- penal Care
Penal aftercare has gained wider support, following the research undertaken in the levels of recidivism. The project will aim to harness this support amongst the wider community.
In particular, the project focuses on the role public services could play, particularly those under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Protection and Labour and the Ministries of Health and Education. The project will need to introduce agreements and protocols, to ensure released prisoners have better access to such support provision in the community. It must be remembered that post penal care is defined as the process of reintegrating an offender, on a voluntary basis and after final release from sanction, back in the community in a constructive, planned and supervised manner. However, the activities and processes involved in post penal care will apply to early conditional released prisoners as well, where commissioners are required to provide supervision, and the post-penal methodology could be applied.
The project aims to provide better co-ordination between the needs of prisoners and convicts following the prison sentence or alternative sanctions and those institutions that could provide more co-ordinated post penal care. There will be pilot activity to evaluate new methods of pre-release programme preparation by treatment staff in the use of release planning, and commissioner work seeking to realise these plans with the aid of public service organisations. The project will also aim at improving communications between prisons and commissioner offices and commissioners and community based services, regarding to post release plans and in order that post penal plans of ex-prisoners can be better realised.
3. Penal Health care
The relationship between the health services in prisons and those in the community is key to the way prisoners are supported upon entry to prison and their release into the community.
The project will analyse ways that this relationship can best be improved. Reducing the occurrence of transmittable diseases in prisons is a challenge to staff. The project will organise training for staff in responding to these problems.