Press release – B-COMPETENT. Boosting Competences in Penitentiary Staff in Europe

Human rights protection of Foreign National Prisoners in multi-ethnic penitentiary settings
The international report on training needs assessment of prison staff – newly released by the EU-funded project B-COMPETENT – highlights weak spots, good practices and training needs of prison civilian staff in six countries

December 2020 – The international research, elaborated by the University of Barcelona – OSPDH, stems from the national reports and surveys carried on by Partner organizations in Albania, France, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Spain from February to October 2020 within the EU-funded project “B-COMPETENT. Boosting competences in penitentiary staff in Europe”. Despite the challenges encountered by the researchers due to the COVID-19 outbreak, B-COMPETENT has successfully reached the goal of thoroughly evaluating prison staff training needs and gaps in all six countries.

METHODOLOGY
The National Reports employed a methodological framework based on: 1) desk analysis of existing training programs; 2) online and offline surveys targeting prison authorities, prison managers, prison staff and front line prison civilian staff; 3) focus groups.
9 focus groups and more than 500 questionnaires delivered

NEXT STEPS:
– design and development of an e-learning course
– multilingual handbook for prison civilian staff
– production of animated videos with case scenarios
– organization of 6 cross-border train-the-trainers workshops in Italy, Albania, Spain, Montenegro, Greece and France.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Provide language courses for foreign inmates enabling them to communicate more effectively with prison staff.
2. Grant appropriate access to interpretation and translation facilities for Foreign National Prisoners.
3. Provide prison staff with specific skills to properly work with foreign inmates (in every prison a central office should be set up to deal with foreign inmates’ special needs and problems and to solve conflicts).
4. Equip prison workers with adequate skills and competencies regarding:
(a) international and national standards and regulations on foreign prisoners’ rights and special needs; (b) mechanisms to take into account the social, familiar and cultural context of the foreign inmates.

The full Report is available at:
www.bcompetent.eu

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