ECOPRIS Transnational Seminar – 13 July – Lisbon, Portugal
On July 13, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal, the transnational project ECOPRIS marked its closure at the international seminar where results, outputs and impressions from the project were presented. The seminar was opened by General Director, Mr. Celso Manata Directorate-General of Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP), where he stressed that there is a need for more focus in the area of prison work.
The project was launched and approved by the European Commission in September 2014 and it finished in August 2017. The objective was to create a conjoint course on prison work plans development, train 36 prison staff in 3 countries within 3 short-term transnational training events and improve community and businesses participation in staff and inmates labor integration actions. They have piloted national and transnational training courses in Romania, Turkey and Portugal. As a result, there are about 360 hours of training course available, as well as 155 learning objects such as debates, seminar and webinar.
This last meeting was an opportunity to see what has been done within the project and what still needs to be done beyond the project. One of the partners, The Head of Projects Department at DGRSP, Jorge Monteiro, stated that it is necessary to take advantage of European Projects in areas of innovation and development, to invest and train prison and probation staff. The goal of the Portuguese Reintegration and Prison Services was to manage a national common strategy to the most emblematic prison industries areas. They planned training sessions and national meetings for training course and allowed staff to visit sessions abroad in Turkey and Romania. Their main outputs were to engage all the staff involved and develop real business plans in prison work area.
After the feedback from the three countries on the project results and impressions, a presentation was held from Centre d’Iniciatives per a la Reinserció (CIRE), a public body in Catalonia that eases social and labor inclusion of former detainees.
Check out the ECOPRIS website and Facebook for latest developments and results: http://ecopris.europris.org
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ecoprisproject/
Short-Term Joint Staff Training “Prison work Administration”
The first short-term joint staff training “Prison work administration” was transnational training event focused on knowledge, experiences and practice exchange. This event took place at hotel Nora Prestige from Timisoara-Romania, between 27.02.2017-3.03.2017 and was hosted by Timisoara Prison. The training was focused on prison industries and green economy, case studies and visits to Timisoara prison’s workplaces.
The event was attended by 35 prison employees from Turkish, Romanian and Portuguese prisons and one expert from Qualify Just – IT Solutions and Consultancy Lda, Portugal. During the week they attended at seminars, workshops and visits. The trainers were provided by project partners West University from Timisoara, Centre for Lifelong Learning Promotion Timisoara and Timisoara Prison.
The training program includes:
This training allowed all participants to observe other prison staff difficulties and constraints, and their solutions for common problems identified about prison work and reintegration of inmates in work, which encouraged knowledge and practice exchange, effectively achieving the objective of establishing a community of practice, which we hope that will be sustainable.
Update 15th of July 2015:
On 22 & 23 June the second project team (Portugal, Romania, Turkey, EuroPris) meeting took place in Ankara, Turkey. In the first months the project worked on the development of a comparative analysis for prison work models. This tool will give an overview of how prison work is organized in different countries and provides for some cases of success and failure. We would like to invite European Prison Administrations to support this tool (see example below) with your experiences by completing this template. Also, it would be helpful if you can provide EuroPris with contact details of an expert that can be approached for questions about prison work in your country.
Another part of the meeting was a visit to the prison work workshops of the Sincan open prison, that is part of a prison complex built in 2000 and comprising of 8 prisons (including female, juvenile, high security) with 6500 detainees. 640 prisoners are In the open prison and almost all of them are working in the production of furniture, textiles, agricultural products and a kitchen that has to cater for 9000 persons daily.
The ECOPRIS project holds in its core objectives to prepare prison staff to create and manage “prison work”; to provide opportunities for inmates’ skills development; and also to increase the generation of own funds to be allocated to the fulfilment of prisons’ mission. Within this scope one of the key outputs focus on challenging the following question:
How is prison work organized in European prison systems?
This is one of the main questions that ECOPRIS project addresses under output 1 – Prison work models critical review. We started in December 2014 by gathering and reviewing EU prison models and programs, which resulted in a prison work comparison framework proposal.
The framework was then pre-tested by core partners; Portuguese, Turkish and Romanian prison services; and the first associated partner Belgian prison service. The pre-test sustained the final prison work framework structure in April 2015.
The next step will be to collect from each country 4 successful prison work models (best practices) and 4 unsuccessful models using the validated framework. The 3 most promising practices will be inserted in the “Training Comparison Framework Catalogue” to be delivered by the end of August.
The prison work comparative framework establishes a comparison in terms of five major dimensions: (1) Concepts, scope and modalities; (2) Management & structure; (3) Market; (4) Marketing & communication and (5) Labour Reintegration, divided into different components and indicators as table 1 shows.
|Concepts, scope & modalities||Prison work concept||What, whom, where, how and what for|
|Legal enforceability||Enforceability of prison work; Possibility of volunteering|
|Specific legal provisions||Specific laws and regulations that regulate prison wok|
|Prison work or special categories of inmates||Existing law or rules for special categories like minors, woman, inmates with disabilities|
|Management & structure||Prison work structure
|Existence of prison work promotion team; Identification of main business sectors; Existing sustainable business concepts; Existing internal training projects; Setting up production facilities; Identification of potential business partners; communication with chambers of commerce; connection of prison work with VET; Existing training for promotion team|
|Organization of prison work||Place of workshops (inside/outside); security restrictions|
|Occupational health and safety measures||Training in health and safety issues; specific regulations|
|Type of management||Public, private or mixed|
|Selection of workers||Selection process; responsible body for selection|
|Criteria for selection|
|Limits on access to workplace opportunities|
|Type of employment relationship|
|Working hours||Legal length of prison work; rights to holidays and days off|
|Average number of hours worked per week|
|Basis for pay||Enforceability of payment; calculation process; application of bonuses|
|Payment process||Process of pay availability for the inmates; Distribution of income; deductions for other costs|
|Minimum and average salary|
|Social and other benefits||Existing social, health, judicial or other benefits for prison workers|
|Type of production|
|Means of production||Responsible body for providing materials and equipment|
|Quality of the product||Quality standards applied|
|Type of clients||Pubic, private or mixed|
|Type of partnerships||Existing partnerships and type of agreement|
|Production capacity||Maximum output; annual income from prison work|
|Marketing & Communication||Customer relations||Suitability of products to customer needs|
|Market research||Existing market research strategies or practices|
|Social responsibility strategy|
|External partnerships||Partnerships with external contractors|
|Commercialization of prison products||Legislation; Management process; Responsible person/body|
|Labour Reintegration||Prior training||Prior assessment of workers; prior training to prison work; on-the-job training|
|Supervision of work||On-going monitoring of prison workers’ development; existing parameters to assess the competence levels of inmates pre- and post-employment in prison workshops|
|Inmate’s transition to labour market||Services in place that prepare inmates’ transition to labour market|
|Average of ex-inmates employed after release|
|Job market||Existing job markets for inmates’ transition to labour market|
|Communication with business||Strategies or plans for communication with business within the prison system|
Some key preliminary findings
If you want to participate in this prison work comparative study, please complete our online survey about prison work models and practices in your country.
Update 15th of May 2015:
Gathering in its consortia Romanian, Portuguese, Turkish, very recently Belgium partners and Europris (representing Prison Services across Europe), ECOPRIS (Ecological Economics in Prison Work Administration) project intends to prepare prison staff to develop and manage “prison work”; to provide opportunities for inmates’ skills development; and also to increase the generation of own funds to be allocated to the fulfilment of prison’s mission.
ECOPRIS emphasizes transversal targeted skills: management, entrepreneurship, prison work and industries awareness, ecology, marketing, communication, ICT, teamwork and integrated reintegration, as core enablers to staff engagement in prison work sustainable development.
The project team started their work in December 2014 with the initial development of the first output – Prison work models critical review. The outcome will be a framework to support existent prison work models in prison systems (national and international) comparison and analysis to facilitate practices and knowledge exchange.
As shown in the figure below, initially we developed a Prison work comparison framework proposal and filling instructions, after gathering and reviewing EU prison models and programs in project targeted skills. The framework was then pretested by the Turkish, Romanian, and Portuguese and, as said before, more recently, Belgium, prison administrations by identifying one prison work practice. After reviewing the feedback from all of the partners, we delivered a final prison work framework structure in April 2015.
At this stage, the Romanian, Turkish and Portuguese prison services (with the support of the other partners) are further completing the framework capturing a more comprehensive picture of its national prison work models. The following steps will be to work on a comparison synthesis using the national and transnational information; use the prison work practices to prepare staff skills trainings; and select the most promising ones to be inserted in a catalogue.
Foreseen to be concluded in the next month, the prison work models critical review will establish a comparison in terms of structured in five major dimensions: (1) Concepts, scope and modalities; (2) Management & structure; (3) Market; (4) Marketing & communication and (5) Labour Reintegration.
If you want to learn more about our project, please get in touch with Tiago Leitão, IPS – Innovative Prison Systems, firstname.lastname@example.org
IPS Team, Pedro Neves, Susana Reis and Tiago Leitão.
 Belgian Prison Services entered as associated partner due to Europris intermediation and sent most recently the Prison work framework filled with a prison work practice and feedback to improve it
The objective of the ECOPRIS (Ecological Economics in Prison Work Administration) project is to raise the quality and efficiency of inmates integrated reintegration processes in the prison context through prison works. In this sense ECOPRIS priority is to prepare prison staff to create and manage “prison work” which can take advantage of prisons’ economic potential; to provide opportunities for inmates’ skills development; and to increase the generation of own funds that can be allocated to the fulfilment of prisons mission.
The project is based on the concept of ecological economics and on the ecological model of social work. Ecological economics is related to the question of economic activities sustainability with scarce resources and the need to reduce the throughput, which is achievable by enhancing the productivity of the resources in hand. On the same line, the ecological model of social work looks for alternative answers to the reintegration process, mobilizing the scarce resources at hand.
Three key ideas are the basis for ECOPRIS:
The ECOPRIS Project promotes open and flexible learning, virtual mobility and other innovative learning methods, fostering the development of entrepreneurial skills and improvement of the capacities of organisations in the areas of inclusion of inmates.
This project gathers in its consortia Prison Administrations from different countries, universities, training organizations and private companies, aiming to develop a work-based training courses addressing prison work initiatives and management skills, namely: prison work and industries awareness; marketing, management, innovation in public correctional organisations, entrepreneurship, communication, ICT and teamwork. The course will be complemented by the development of pilot actions that will create two teams, in one or two prisons per country, supported by: knowledge exchange with ICT platforms; the establishment of a community of practices/knowledge; short-term transnational training events and other events with the goal of setting at least one prison work initiative in each participating prison.
Project specific goals:
National seminars: Romania (November 2016)
International seminar: Portugal (July 2017)
Romania, Turkey and Portugal (April/May 2016)
Romania, Turkey and Portugal (April/May 2017)
Leading partner: The University of Beira Interior (UBI)
Project partners: The University of Beira Interior (UBI), Penitenciarul Timisoara, The Center for promoting lifelong learning – CPIP, Qualify Just – IT Solutions and Consultancy Lda,West University of Timișoara, General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses (Turkey), European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris), DGRSP – General Directorate of Probation and Prison Services (Portugal)
Duration: 01.09.2014 – 31.08.2017
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