Previous best practices with EULEX Correctional Services capacity-building work has made Finland once again the go-to country to further strengthen the correctional and probation services in Kosovo.
During the EULEX-organised study visit to Finland, which took place during the first week of October, six Kosovo Correctional Service (KCS) staff members were trained to become trainers on how to conduct risk and need assessments and how to create sentence plans. To ensure sustainability, the training of future KCS trainers has focused specifically on individual sentence planning, which should be made for all inmates in order to minimise the risk of reoffending, a process that is based on an individual assessment of risks and needs.
The KCS team visited the regional Assessment Centre in Helsinki, the Finnish training institute for Prison and Probation of the Criminal Sanctions Agency, as well open and closed prisons in order to see how sentence plans are being implemented and how these plans affect the inmates and the prison staff.
After the study visit to Finland, a team of Finnish experts came to Pristina to support and assist the KCS group of trainees, as well as to evaluate the progress made in developing a training manual for future trainees.
On 2 November, after a week-long training course in Pristina, the closing event of the training of future trainers in the KCS Unit of Assessment and Classification of Prisoners took place. During the closing event, the Head of EULEX Monitoring Pillar, Johanna Valenius, stated that: “EULEX has been supporting KCS since the beginning of the Mission in 2008 and continues to do so through the Monitoring, Mentoring and Advising mandate. It is really important to mention that the idea for this training came directly from our local counterparts. The KCS identified that there is a need to offer training for newly recruited staff and this could be carried out by officials already trained, hence to train the trainers.”
The local counterparts also expressed a great level of professional fulfilment after the different levels of training that they received. Dashnim Osmani, Head of the Pilot Project of the Unit for Assessment and Classification of Prisoners, who is now also a certified trainer said: “The benefits of this type of specific and extensive training are directly linked with our daily work and responsibilities. What’s more, now we will be also able to pass on our expertise to our teams.”
Annamari Räisänen, short term expert for prisoner assessment, recapped the entire training process that took place during the last two months: “At the end of these two months I can say that participants seemed to be very happy and satisfied with the results and expertise gained during the sessions. Most importantly, the enthusiastic and cooperative approach of the Kosovo counterparts showed a good understanding of the need to build expertise in this particular field, so as to continue the good development of KCS.”
The closing ceremony of the training of future trainers also marked the certification of six KCS trainers in Unit of Assessment and Classification of Prisoners.