What is Prisnet?
The Prisnet partnership represents NGOs, CSOs and institutions working across the Western Balkans region in the prison system addressing human rights and social issues facing prisoners and prison staff and implementing grassroots projects to support and expand rehabilitation projects. We also aim to increase the involvement of civil society with state run institutions in order to support the institutions, bring funding to the region and exchange cross country best practices.
www.futureprisnet.eu represents the next step following on from the successful completion of the prison monitoring project Prisnet which received funding from EU DG Enlargement.
Prisnet has already successfully created:
- a permanent platform of discussion on inter-religious and intercultural dialogue inside prisons; Focus Groups regarding specific issues related to penal sanctions with stakeholders and experts ;
- Analysis of the acquis in the respect of minorities in penitentiary systems;
- Training of trainers;
- Recommendations for improved role of CSOs in the intercultural dialogue inside prisons; communication and dissemination through a wide range of media
This Prisnet project drew to a close at the end of 2012 and we are keen to consolidate on the experience and knowledge obtained by continuing our monitoring work in prisons in the region and expanding it to include other territories including Albania.
This website is part of the permanent platform created through the Prisnet experience. The partners are committed to carrying out 2 assessments in 2 prisons in the following countries annually starting in 2013 and to bringing funding to these countries in order to improve conditions for prisoners and prison staff:
We have expanded our partnership with specialised and respected NGOs across the region, building on Prisnet’s reputation and we are proud to include:
- Centre for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria
- Forum for Ethnic Relations (Serbia),
- Consiglio delle Relazioni Islamiche Italiane (CRII), Italy
- SOSDER (Turkey)
- Università Europea di Roma, Italy
- Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Macedonia
- KCRT, Pristina, Kosovo
- Protecta, Belgrade, Serbia
- Work in Progress, Novi Sad, Serbia
- Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, BiH
Methodology for Assessment: acquired knowledge and legal precedent
Our methodology for carrying out an assessment is borne out of the Prisnet project research report.
Our questionnaires are compiled in order to cover every aspect of daily life within the prison system from admission to alimentation, visiting rights to prayer facilities, drug and medical related questions and the access to work in order to earn money and privileges within the prison system.
As well as direct independent monitoring within prisons across the Western Balkans region, the Observatory has some short term objectives:
EU funding to the Western Balkans region to support and improve the prison
- Feasibility study for the production capacity of the region’s prisons (ultimately aiming for organic agriculture but first of all plant nursery) including a scientific analysis on the interrelations between social work, prison rehabilitation (including drug addition) and related best practices
- Feasibility study for the decentralized production in Serb prisons (agronomic studies, market place, financial sustainability, etc.)
- Feasibility study for the design and establishment of a centralized commercial center to sale the products
- Involvement of commercial stakeholders at International (such as Federbio, Anve, etc) and National levels.
Our mid-term objectives include:
- create a network of stakeholders across the region interested in developing rehabilitation services across the prison system in the Western Balkans
- create a network of stakeholders to develop new and innovative business models for prison rehabilitation programmes
- raise awareness about this issue at national, regional and European level
- produce updated analysis related to rehabilitation and education programmes within the prison system across the region
- create a network of volunteers working within the prison system to support and improve the living conditions of prisoners and their families that can exist without funding from external sources
Our long-term objectives include:
- improve the living conditions of prisoners and the social services available to them and their families to assist their re-entry into society after completing their sentences
- improve the interaction and collaboration of key stakeholders in this field of interest across the Western Balkan region (ministries, directorates, CSOs and NGOs)
- improve collaboration between local CSOs across the region