„Prison, Reintegration, Education. Trainings to support social and labour market (re)integration of people in or after detention


Trainings in prison

International meeting and Workshop Booklet – summary


Within the confines of the project the first international partner meeting was realized between 09-11/11/2015, with the participation of 5 countries, 5 organizations. The participants of strategic partnership and collaboration are the following NGOs: Váltó-sáv Alapítvány (HU, leader organization/consortium leader), Slawek Foundation (PL), Rubikon Centrum (CZ), Edukos (SL), and Grudas (LT). The target group and the main goal of the five organizations is supporting the social and labour market reintegration of prisoners and released, there are several similarities in their methods and activities, naturally along with the special organizational characteristics.
 The Váltó-sáv Alapítvány is a nationally operating, NGO supporting the social and labour market reintegration of people under and after detention, disadvantaged/marginalized people, deviants, people in vulnerable groups and their relatives (from 2002). The programmes achieved in penal institutes (e. g. Freedom is in focus: preparation group for release), penal institutes and after release (e.g.  Competency development), and after release (e. g. job coaching programme). The base of our method is “throughcare”, and the helping/supporting relationship (civil support system), but we are working with a wide methodological repertoire (“more method instead of one method”). Charity and support fund „Garstyčios grūdas” since 2004 is implementing prisoner’s psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration into society and labor market activities. „Garstyčios grūdas“ has unique psychosocial rehabilitation centre for prisoners that are drug/alcohol addicts. Center „Oasis“ is situated in Alytus correction house 5th sector. Center at the time works with 35-56 prisoners that has drug,alcohol or criminal behavior addictions.  Prisoners voluntarily chose to enter the psychosocial and vocational program for 1,5-3,5years, until they finish their sentence. Center has joinery workshop, where prisoners gain vocational training. Edukos (Slovakia): works with people under or after detention and their relatives. The  focus of the projects implemented by Edukos is to help its clients to succeed at the labour market and in their lives in general, strengthen their proactive approach in the search for employment resp. self-employment by means of acquired legal knowledge, PC skills, social and communicational competences. Edukos has also tried to remove prejudice and discrimination against this target group during and after their prison sentence, especially in case of Roma clients and help them integrate into the society. Slawek Foundation is a non-profit NGO realizing the difficult mission of assistance to people in prison, former prisoners, youngsters and their families. It operates since 1998. From the very beginning Foundation is focused on individual approach and comprehensive support to its beneficiaries. The organization was founded by the Łagodziński family - Mark, Danuta, Isabella and Christopher. During 17 years, Foundation has developed a number of programs and support models to allow effective social and vocational rehabilitation of offenders. Rubikon Centrum is a non-governmental non-profit organization that has operated in the Czech Republic for 20 years in the field of work with people with criminal past and their employment and social reintegration. The aim of organization, all projects and activities are aimed at the reintegration of people with criminal records back into society, developing their skills for the labour market, achieving their social and professional integration, significantly helping with the integration of at-risk groups and reducing their recurrence.
The Czech, Polish, Slovakian, Lithuanian and Hungarian data about the prison population is very similar, the inmate rate of these countries are exceeded the EU member states’.
Trainings realized in prison were in the focus of the current meeting. The following questions, dilemmas, and problems came to the fore: a) the question of labour market supply and demand, b) the geographical location of the penal institute and the different geographical position of the release, c) fast vocational trainings: there is no/little practice; there is no/little secure knowledge, because of the standard of the trainings and the security of the penal institute, d) in the case of vocational trainings: basic competencies are missing, without these the training is really hard/impossible (reading comprehension, mathematical competencies, learning methodology knowledge, etc.) , e) the taking of the school leaving exam is hardly supported (long, not cost effective, not really “spectacular/showy” – although reintegration-wise it is subjectively more efficient), f) alternative learning methodology is not/poorly supported (person-centred, individualized learning ways, e-learning, etc.), g) the trainers, teachers teaching in penal institutes not/poorly prepared for the special target group, from the point of didactics and methodology, h) lack of digital competencies of the target group (at the same time the lack of other opportunities) i) scarce methodological repertoire because of the special location (limited possibilities e.g. e-learning, verbal communication and printed materials are preferred or low security risk trainings, j) lack of foreign language trainings (lack of opportunities) , k) project approach on education/trainings, m) prejudices.
We think that in helping work the education/training method is the key point of reintegration.
Further information: http://www.preproject.hu/