Representatives of the ministries of justice and prison administrations from Albania, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia visited the High Security State Prison and the Centre for Social Welfare - Municipality Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina to exchange good practices in preparation for release and provision of post-penal support to violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) and marginalised and vulnerable prisoners at risk of radicalisation.
During the visit to the High Security State Prison, the prison practitioners exchanged experiences and gained insights into the legal and institutional framework of the prison system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the system of professional development of its staff, programmes for rehabilitation, re-socialisation and preparation of prisoners for release, while learning also about inter-agency co-operation and community-based support to and management of former VEPs and other categories of prisoners at risk of radicalisation. The participants also visited the Municipality Jajce Centre for Social Welfare and familiarised themselves with the organisational set-up and functioning of the local institutions providing post-penal and reintegration support to such former prisoners upon their return to a local community.
This visit aimed to assist prison authorities in the Western Balkans in the process of reinforcing co-operation, professional networking and exchange of knowledge and best practices. In this framework the regional action “Enhancing co-operation in the Western Balkans in managing violent extremism in prisons and preventing further radicalisation after release” will continue to support local actors and contribute in the improvement of management and rehabilitation of violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) and other marginalised and vulnerable prisoners at risk of radicalisation, in line with European standards.
The study visit was organised in the framework of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” programme, co-funded by EU and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.