The Council of Europe continues to support the piloting of VEP-specific instruments and programme in Kosovo* and Serbia.
In Kosovo, 4 months after the start of the pilot phase in two detention facilities (High Security Prison and Dubrava Prison), the involved prison staff reflected on the challenges encountered and progress achieved during an online coaching session that took place on 23 September. The VEP-specific instruments, such as the basic screening tool and the in-depth risk and needs assessment (RNA) tool, have so far been proven as applicable within the local penitentiary context and its characteristics, while the rehabilitation manual and programme will be piloted in the upcoming period until the end of November. While there is no doubt that the achieved progress can be attributed to professionalism and dedication of the prison management and staff, certain factors proved determining. These being multi-disciplinary approach, regular communication and information sharing between the security, treatment and intelligence staff, as well as systematic processing and use of information received through direct application of the tools.
Similarly, in Serbia, trained multidisciplinary prison staff, coming from the Special Detention Facility “Zabela” in Pozarevac and the county prison in Belgrade, rolled out the piloting phase of the VEP-specific instruments and programme, developed to meet the specific needs of the beneficiary and this category of detainees. The process was initiated mid-September and is planned to be completed by the end of the year, under close supervision of a CoE consultant.
The piloting processes are supported and implemented under the auspices of the Action „Enhancing penitentiary capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans“, Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (2019 – 2022), funded by the European Union and Council of Europe and implemented by Council of Europe.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.