Penitentiary systems in Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina benefited from a donation of different equipment aimed at enhancing the provision of occupational therapy and strengthening the capacities of vocational workshops (September 2021). The main aim of the donation is to support the rehabilitation prospectus of violent extremist prisoners (VEPs), radicalised inmates or other marginalised groups in prisons who are at risk of radicalisation.
Strengthening the prison systems’ ability to offer and implement programmes that encourage participation and engagement of prisoners in meaningful activities, will enable them to learn new skills and prepare for life after imprisonment. The benefits of occupational vocational therapies are many, helping prisoners for their reintegration back into community, gives them the sense of achievement, provides them with insight into lifestyle choices and has overall positive impact on mental health.
The Action will extend its support throughout the autumn to Albania and Montenegro as well, in line with the identified specific needs of VEPs.
This small-scale procurement support has been enabled under the auspices of the Action „Enhancing penitentiary capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans“, which is implemented within the joint programme of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (2019 – 2022), with aim of enhancing regional security by improving inter-institutional exchange of knowledge and good practices in the region in respect of radicalisation in prisons.
* 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