The Czech Prison Service nominated Jiřice Open Prison for Prison Achievement Award 2022 which had been introduced for the first time this year. Jiřice Open Prison made it to the TOP 5 out of more than 20 nominated projects from prison services across Europe.
The Prison Achievement Award aims to highlight and celebrate positive and inspirational developments and initiatives implemented in prisons across Europe. The results were announced at the EuroPris Annual General Meeting in Sevilla, Spain, last week. Altogether 24 projects were nominated from different European countries. We were happy to learn that Jiřice Open Prison had reached the Top Five, together with innovative projects nominated by prison services from Switzerland, Portugal, Latvia and the Netherlands. Although the Netherlands won the prize, we still consider Jiřice’s placement in the Top Five a great success!
The Dutch winning project presents a unique collaboration of the Veenhuizen Prison with the Hanze University Groningen where students and researchers take an active part in establishing, maintaining, and strengthening the family relations of the inmates.
Jiřice Open Prison was opened in November 2017 and aims to reduce re-offending through an intensive individual approach to convicts. The main goal of the project is to prepare inmates for life in the community with a focus on their abilities and skills in assessing, planning and making decisions about everyday life tasks and issues. Professional treatment based on guidance and coaching enables inmates to carefully analyze an issue and search for ideal solutions to it – all with the support of professional staff members. Practice shows that in case an inmate can clearly define the problem and find an appropriate solution(s) himself, then he probably will be able to do so in real life after the release.
The open prison also hosts a unique project of guide-dogs initial obedience training. Selected inmates train the dogs for eight months and help to create a bond between a dog and a human. Subsequently, the dogs are handed over back to the guide dogs school for further professional training.
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