Inter-institutional cooperation of outmost importance for preparation for release and post-penal assistance of Violent Extremist Prisoners (VEPs) towards their full reintegration back into the society

04-06 November 2020

Location : Online

The second session under the regional Working Group (WG) on “Preparation for release and post-penal assistance of VEPs” discussed the needs and strengths of the current practices and the challenges the Beneficiaries in the Western Balkans face. During the WG meeting, which took place on 04-06 November 2020 in a form of series of bilateral online sessions, the WG members shared their experiences and suggestions on how to better prepare VEPs and other radicalised inmates for release. At the same time, they got acquainted with practices implemented in other European countries and enhanced their understanding of Council of Europe standards and RAN approaches.

All WG members agreed that multidisciplinary approach and continuous inter-institutional cooperation are of outmost importance when it comes to reintegration of VEPs back into society. The participants coming from the Prison and Probation Services, Coordination mechanisms for preventing and countering violent extremism and Centers for Social work, once again highlighted the needs for further training and developing specific guidelines on their role and responsibilities and protocols on information sharing during the process. The information received during the WG meeting will be used for developing a matrix with recommendations for unification of pre-release and post-penal assistance tools, structures and processes in the region.

This activity was facilitated by three Council of Europe consultants and was organized within the scope of the Regional Action “Enhancing penitentiary capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans” that is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe within the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022” and implemented by the Council of Europe.

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*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.