EU project of €1 million supports the Albanian Probation Services and the further development of alternative measures to detention (25/03/2011)
Tirana, 25 March 2011
The European Union's €1,000,000 project "Support to the Albanian Penitentiary Reform" was launched today in Tirana. The project takes the form of a Twinning between the Albanian Ministry of Justice and the UK Ministry of Justice. Experts from the UK Ministry of Justice will work with the Albanian counterparts to promote and improve the use of alternative sentences for petty offenders, such as community service, in order to ease overcrowding in prisons, management of prisons and costs, as well as foster better re-integration and rehabilitation mechanisms for offenders.
The Opinion of the European Commission on Albania’s readiness for candidate status pointed out several shortcomings in Albania’s penitentiary system, especially overcrowding of prisons and ill-treatment. Alternative sentences to imprisonment are important instruments to address overcrowding and also offer the necessary conditions especially for petty and young offenders to be re-educated into society and not re-offend.
This twinning project will assist the Ministry of Justice to improve its professional management systems and working practices in order toenhance the
efficiency of the probation system in Albania. In particular, the UK experts will work with the General Directorate of Probations and the General Directorate of Prisons:
- Prepare a national strategy and action plan for the further development of the probation system as well as a communication and public relation strategy
- Create a sound information system for the probation offices to modernise internal workflows and communication
- Design a training strategy and develop training curricula for the Probations and Prison services for a better coordination and more professional staff.
- Support the preparations for Albania to become member of the European Organisation for Probation
During the launch event, where participated also the UK Minister of Justice, Lord Tom McNally and the Albanian Minister of Justice, Bujar Nishani, the Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi noted the importance of promoting a wider and better use of alternative sentences, emphasising that "Alternative measures imply that the potential for good of a person is not put to an abrupt and final end by a conflict with the law. They imply the right to a second, better chance".
The project started in February 2011 and will continue until the end of February 2012. The project complements other EU assistance for the construction of new prisons and pre-trail detention centres, for the Juvenile Justice Reform and more. This €1 million also complements the expertise on penitentiary issues and human rights provided by EU-funded projects with civil society organisations.
For further information, please contact:
Press & Information Officer
Tel: + 355 4 2228 320 / 479; E-mail: