Monday, 16 September 2013 13:25 arct
Regional Conference and launch of Comparative Study among Prisons in Albania and Republic of Macedonia
ARCT, being in partnership with the Centre for Civic Initiatives in Prilep, have successfully organized a Regional Conference “On the Social Inclusion of persons who served prison sentence” - Comparative Regional Approaches between Albania and FYROM - 25th of February, 2013
The Regional Conference was dedicated to the professional staff working in the penitentiary institutions in Albania and FYROM, engaged with the project activities. During this event, ARCT had closely cooperated with the General Prisons Directorate where an organizing committee has discussed the topics, and the organization of the panels. An extended list of invitations was distributed to prison authorities, CSOs, media. The People’s Advocate welcomed the panel of the representatives from the Ministry of Justice and prison directors and partner organizations from FYROM.
The conference main focus was based on the impact and the challenges, reforms in two countries, the legislative and structural developments, the institutional cooperation between civil society and state authorities. ARCT invited representatives from General Prisons Directorate, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, People’s Advocate, law faculty and academia, international community, WHO, OSCE, UNICEF, the President; Office counsellors, etc. The EU Delegation representatives participated in the event.
In his address to the Conference Mr. Igli Totozani paid attention to the cooperation with regards to the performance of the Albanian National Preventive Mechanism, and the fulfillment of the PA recommendations for the visiting institutions (prisons and pre-detention centres). The PA will expand its mandate with regards to inclusion of the process of rehabilitation and re-integration. This event is very important. We will raise this issue in our monitoring visits together with the ARCT.
The General Director for Legal, Educational and Institutional Issues at the GPD, Mr Arben Tusha in his address congratulated the ARCT for the event, and the successful cooperation during the implementation of the project. Social inclusion and rehabilitation were two main recommendations raised by ARCT with this project, accepted by the General Prisons Directorate and included for the impact of the penitentiary system. A lot has been done: the inclusion of the detainees in the social security scheme, the introduction of the Istanbul Protocol for the identification of cases of torture and ill treatment were direct results of ARCT contribution. Ministry of Justice has cooperated with the Ministry of Health to get the health services transferred under the responsibility of MoH; with the Ministry of Education to provide compulsory and professional education to fight illiteracy and introduce professions for proper integration of juveniles.
Having partners from FYROM creates a good possibility to discuss joint interventions, exchange experience and knowledge about the current development and legislation. Congratulations for the study - we found it very interesting.
The level of participation and contributions from the invitees was high, the discussions reflected similarities and identified the best practices in increasing the expertise of professional staff on appropriate evaluation, assessment and rehabilitation.
The events was part of a cross-border initiative which was considered as continuity in service-provision and expertise through organization of capacity building activities; round table events, regional study visits and conferences, studies and publications which were massively frequented- through which evaluations forms, feedback, the contacts and data management system show that the impact was considerably high.
Considering the data, dynamics and the wide spectrum of the detained population in Korça High Security prisons, ARCT considered it, an important component in evaluating the spectrum of the current services provided in the penitentiary system. When analyzing this aspect, we can stress a marked discrepancy between the laws pertaining treatment of inmates and the conditions under which they actually live. These discrepancies are mentioned as an escape gate for those criminals who can benefit from a corrupted judiciary system in Albania.
The prison systems in both of the countries have their specificities and similarities enabling the possibility for effective comparison and sharing of best practices.
EXTRACTS FROM THE COMPARATIVE STUDY
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