Training of Trainers/ITALY – B-Competent

Italy, 19 November 2021 – The fourth Training-of-Trainers on human rights and foreign prisoners took place in Italy. The Training of Trainers workshop, led via Zoom platform by Prof. Marco Ruotolo, addressed the topic “Prisoners’ rights and limitations to their exercise”. It was conceived to offer to the target group (prison directors, civilian prison staff such as psychologists, social workers, educators, cultural mediators, interpreters, police officers, and legal experts and professors, as well) training materials in the light of prisoners’ fundamental rights, particularly of foreign ones.

The focus was on the Italian penitentiary system, mostly on the gap between what is on paper and what happens in practice, for example concerning the evident disproportion between civilian prison staff and uniformed staff. Prof. Daniela Bifulco, as project coordinator, introduced the meeting, highlighting this distance between theory and practice. Afterward, the talk of Prof. Ruotolo is firstly centered on the human dignity concept touching the perspective as innate dignity and acquired dignity. Latter was introduced Italian constitutional norm as art. 13 which guarantees the right of liberty perceived and linked with the inmate dignity topic. The lecture proceeded on the dignity topic comparing the Italian Constitution norms and German Fundamental Law (Grundgesetz), the space of the sentence, and the principle of dynamic surveillance.

The mention of EHCR sentences shows what the EHCR stated regarding the space allocated to prisoners’ cells, in order to prevent inhuman and degrading treatment. In addition, it was highlighted the importance of the rule of law in prisons and how is fundamental to guarantee legality as a constitutional goal. To conclude, were introduced some sentences of the Italian Constitutional Court and pointed out the importance of the soft law and at the centrality of the circulars, both in the European and the Italian scenario, which encompasses a lot of essential parameters in the field of penitentiary law.  In the end, there were a lot of questions that generated a virtuous debate around the issues of the lesson. 88 participants were part of this training.

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