WBIF-funded Technical Assistance Supports the Management and Rehabilitation of Inmates in North Macedonia’s Penitentiary Institutions
The WBIF grant supported the development of prisoner rehabilitation programmes, further development of a new management system, and staff skills enhancement in line with the European Prison Rules. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of North Macedonia (Directorate for Execution of Sanctions), the Project Implementation Unit, the Ministry of Finance, the Delegation of the European Union and the Infrastructure Project Facility 5 (IPF5) attended the event, together with the staff of the four penitentiary institutions benefitting from this Project.
In North Macedonia, there is a network of eleven penitentiary institutions and two juvenile educational-correctional institutions. These penitentiary facilities are overcrowded and living conditions for the inmates are poor; rehabilitation opportunities, by way of training and education, are severely limited. The WBIF has provided three Technical Assistance (TA) grants to mitigate these adverse conditions in four of North Macedonia’s penitentiary institutions. These grants specifically aimed to enhance the conditions of the correctional facilities and to increase successful rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners into society.
The event on 25 September 2019 marked the completion of the institutional support activities in two of the four penitentiary institutions, namely for the already operational Kumanovo Prison and the newly opened Idrizovo Penal-Correctional Facility.
The TA grants also cover the Tetovo Juvenile Educational Facility and the Skopje Prison and are part of the wider “Reconstruction of Penitentiary Institutions in North Macedonia”. The overall reconstruction project is financed through a €46 million Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) loan, a national contribution over €2.5 million, and the three EU grants worth €1.95 million through the WBIF. The overall Project will result in improving living conditions and rehabilitation opportunities for about 2,500 convicted inmates, remand prisoners and juveniles (thus also contributing to the reduction of overcrowding in the other facilities in the country) and the improvement of the working conditions for around 900 penitentiary staff.
Jovica Stojanovikj, Director of the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions within the Ministry of Justice of North Macedonia: “The reform of the penitentiary system is a part and an extension of the reforms in the criminal justice and our legal system in general, and alignment to the European Union standards. The objective of the Project for Reconstruction of Penitentiary Institutions in North Macedonia has been to improve the process of sanction enforcement through enhancement of the human rights with regard to accommodation, hygiene, healthcare, work activities, and quality of spare time of the detained and sentenced persons.”
Jeremy Lazenby, IPF5 Team Leader: “The institutional component has seen the teamwork in the context of a live prison and assist in meeting EU prison guidelines. The team has enjoyed excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, which has made this a successful TA.”
Photo credits (c) EU.
More information on the Project can be found here.
More information on the WBIF in North Macedonia here.
Short video on the WBIF support to Judiciary facilities in North Macedonia and Serbia (c) EU