EULEX Trains Kosovo Correctional Service Staff on Sentence Plans for Prisoners’ Rehabilitation

20 October 2022

From 18 to 20 October, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has organized three training sessions on the Implementation of Sentence Plans for 88 staff members of the Kosovo Correctional service (KCS).

The workshop focused on how to implement individual sentence plans, which describe the activities that each prisoner should complete while serving her/his sentence. Sentence plans are a crucial tool to promote prisoners’ rehabilitation, help prevent recidivism, and support their successful reintegration into the society.

The KCS Replacing General Director, Sami Gashi, thanked EULEX for its continued support and pointed out how the training will benefit not only KCS staff but also the prisoners.

Highlighting the relevance of developing plans tailored to the prisoners’ specific risk factors and needs assessed at individual level, the Chief of EULEX’s Correctional Unit, Ritva Vahakoski, highlighted as a very positive step the fact that the Prisoner Assessment and Classification Unit (PACU) is now officially functioning, following the approval of the new Law on Execution of Criminal Sanctions in August 2022.

The training also explained the importance of implementing the concept of dynamic security, meaning the capacity by the correctional staff to develop a positive professional relationship with prisoners, based on fairness, constructive dialogue, and situational awareness

As underlined by the EULEX Correctional Advisor and trainer, Heidi Kajander, rehabilitation is only possible where there is an environment free of fear and where both prisoners and correctional staff feel safe, and their well-being is looked after.

The training was part of the assistance EULEX has been providing to KCS in developing sentence planning procedures.

In May 2022, the Correctional Unit facilitated a training on the implementation of sentence plans, delivered by two experts from Finland; in October 2019, EULEX organized a study visit to Finland aimed at familiarizing KCS officers with the process of conducting risk and need assessments and creating sentence plans; in 2018, the KCS initiated the PACU pilot project, with the support of EULEX, and in May 2017, the Mission organized a training for 20 KCS officers on how to assess prisoners.