EULEX trains women correctional officers on dynamic security and self-defense

09 February

From 6 to 9 February 2024, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) in cooperation with the Swedish Prison and Probation Service trained on dynamic security and self-defense 50 women correctional officers from the Kosovo Correctional Service (KCS).

The training was split in two parts: a two-day workshop on theory and practice on dynamic security, with a focus on methods to prevent and address security incidents, which was delivered by members of EULEX Correctional Unit; a two-day introduction of self-defense techniques. The latter was conducted in the Lipjan/Lipljan Correctional Center with the support of two expert instructors from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, Rebecca Linhard and Weronika Wallen.

The overall aim of the four-day training was to ensure a safer environment for all correctional officers and prisoners by strengthening self-confidence and vigilance of female staff while introducing methods to prevent and address incidents as well as self-defense techniques, thus minimizing the risk of injuries.

The training was opened by remarks of the EULEX Chief of Correctional Unit, Anu Melkko, and of the Deputy Director General of KCS, Besar Gashi.

Mellko pointed out the importance of promoting the presence of women within correctional institutions by empowering them and encouraging the recruitment of female staff, in what essentially is still a male-dominated reality, not only in Kosovo but also worldwide.

Gashi explained that the KCS has initiated the recruitment of 47 women officers, who started working in five correctional centers in November 2023, highlighting the necessity to increase female representation within KCS’s personnel, especially in security-related positions in correctional centers. He confirmed that the KCS is aiming to reach a 50/50 male female representation at all levels of the KCS’s structures, while now only 15 per cent of KCS personnel are women, despite the fact that the KCS operates since 1999 and it currently employes about 1600 staff members.

The participants showed great interest in learning how to identify among prisoners symptoms or indicators of potentially performing a wrongful act. Among other matters, the trainees expressed their will to learn more tips and best practice examples on how to maintain a positive environment and solution-oriented approaches for prisoners.

The training was organized under the EULEX small scale project “Training for Kosovo Correctional service Female Staff on dynamic security and self-defense.”