Towards a safe, stimulating and rehabilitative prison environment for children and juveniles in conflict with the law

Supported by MATRA Programme, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands

Implemented in collaboration with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency

Project timeframe: August 2017 – July 2022

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a reform of the Prison system in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia by improving the possibilities of juvenile detainees to successfully reintegrate into society by introducing new working methods to the prison staff.

The project is constituted by four components:

  1. COPOSO – teaching of life skills through the inclusion of creative and sportive activities by local workshop teachers
  2. YouTurn/ToPs – training the staff in the institute of Kavaja to help juveniles learn certain social and thinking skills
  3. Social Climate Tool – living, learning and working climate measurement in the institute for staff and minors through students and professors of the University of Tirana, trained by experts of the Leiden University
  4. Assistance in the development of a training curriculum for staff working with juveniles and support in the establishment of a new semi-open institution

Expected results of the project:

  1. YouTurn-developed methods were used to train 10 prison officials in order to attain a more friendly, social and understanding environment in the juvenile prison system, in accordance to the Dutch model;
  2. 15 juveniles attended workshops conducted by Caritas and Ortek in the Institute for Juveniles, Kavaja, with the aim to achieve a set of skills that they will be able to employ in the future;
  3. Four workshop teachers were trained on innovative ways to produce video footage in order to create a sustainable way for workshops to be followed by juveniles
  4. Three officials from the General Directorate of Prisons will be trained by Dutch experts on ways to create a more child-friendly environment
  5. The Ministry of Justice will be aided in the creation of a novel semi-open penitentiary system for juveniles
  6. 15-20 students will be trained to conduct Climate Measurements inside the juvenile penitentiary system with the aim to gain insight on the current state of affairs and on possible issues that need to be tackled.
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