Project partners were chosen to integrate all necessary expertise, covering all project outputs needs: field expertise, higher education: business and soft skills, education-training, ICT and experience in project management.
The first category of partners from ECOPRIS project are prisons within prison services. Prisons are interested in staff trained in prison works administration and also to improve and innovate inmates’ integrated reintegration. Thus, prison can be seen as project partners and beneficiaries. The prison’s role is also relevant because can provide partners with information about staffs’ and inmates’ real needs and offer the context to practical experiences.
Our strategic partnership includes two universities, one with a Security network – (B-Safe Lab) and the other one with a Prison Research Center (Timisoara University), a company with expertise in prison systems innovation and ICT development – Innovative Prison Systems -, and one organization with expertise in long life learning – CPIP.
The partnership counts also with European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services, a NGO which represents almost all prison services across Europe and key disseminator of the activities.
These partners are involved in the activities with strong experience in developing trainings, educational activities or intellectual outputs. NGO’s and educational companies partners has expertise in implementation of European projects, especially in educational field and ICT.
Project partners are from different countries, with different prison systems and legislative framework. Nonetheless, in terms of training prison staff exists common weaknesses and needs. Furthermore, project offers experience and knowledge exchange opportunities allowing staff to compare, acknowledge and adopt practices and innovation from a country to another. The dissemination and exploitation strategy provides the opportunity to explore European level and to answer identified common needs.
The partnership was developed under lifelong learning education prison staff needs. The strategic partnership includes multi-agency, cross sectorial and multidisciplinary element in the approach (prisons, educational NGO and company and university) to develop together new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning. This structure can offer variety, integration opportunities and complementary organizational competencies.
Some partners have a long partnership history in different activities or projects. Portuguese and Romanian prison services partnership started in 2007 under the first funded Romanian ESF project – “Creşterea şanselor de incluziune socială a persoanelor aflate în detenţie prin o mai bună educaţie, informare a societăţii şi îmbunătăţirea activităţilor în penitenciar”(www.credem-in-schimbare.org). This project besides covering several domains of organizational change: Common assessment framework, critical processes redesign, balance score card, delivered innovation in staff training: volunteers management, employers engagement, most important linking staff skills development with education and reintegration programs for inmates: entrepreneurship, restorative justice, “one day in prison” and volunteer management.The partnership included bilateral visits between Timisoara prison staff and Sintra prison staff. Also Catalonia prison service hosted study visits from Romanian prison services and continues to be a close transnational partner.
The applicant is a recent network but has been engaging with partners working together in a long term perspective.
Centrul pentru promovarea Invatarii Permanente Timisoara. In that way we can mentioned the last project in partnership “Convicts Liberty Aid Project”(www.clap-project.eu). Also Innovative Prison Systems collaborated with CPIP in projects “MyCompass” (www.my-compas-project.eu) and “European Induction Support for Adult Learning Professionals to the Correctional Criminal Justice System – EISALP” (www.eisalp.eu).
Turkish prison services are collaborating with the Portuguese prison service in a Twinning project aiming to align their prison system standards with European one. Their involvement in our project is very important because they want to adopt European Rules for Prison and other European legislation as soon as possible and this project is an opportunity to achieve this aim and prepare all changes necessary.