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The objective of the ECOPRIS (Ecological Economics in Prison Work Administration) project is to raise the quality and efficiency of inmates integrated reintegration processes in the prison context through prison works. In this sense ECOPRIS priority is to prepare prison staff to create and manage “prison work” which can take advantage of prisons’ economic potential; to provide opportunities for inmates’ skills development; and to increase the generation of own funds that can be allocated to the fulfilment of prisons mission.

The project is based on the concept of ecological economics and on the ecological model of social work. Ecological economics is related to the question of economic activities sustainability with scarce resources and the need to reduce the throughput, which is achievable by enhancing the productivity of the resources in hand. On the same line, the ecological model of social work looks for alternative answers to the reintegration process, mobilizing the scarce resources at hand.

Three key ideas are the basis for ECOPRIS:

  • Development of prison staff competencies through a work-based training course to better understand and deal with prison and inmates “prison work administration” related complex activities;
  • Increase prison systems staff skills to create and manage productive activities, internalized or in partnership with private or civil society organisations, to reinforce offenders labour market re-entry integrated strategies;
  • Increase prison system’s capacity to generate financial resources and to improve offenders’ reintegration activities

The ECOPRIS Project promotes open and flexible learning, virtual mobility and other innovative learning methods, fostering the development of entrepreneurial skills and improvement of the capacities of organisations in the areas of inclusion of inmates.

This project gathers in its consortia Prison Administrations from different countries, universities, training organizations and private companies, aiming to develop a work-based training courses addressing prison work initiatives and management skills, namely: prison work and industries awareness; marketing, management, innovation in public correctional organisations, entrepreneurship, communication, ICT and teamwork. The course will be complemented by the development of pilot actions that will create two teams, in one or two prisons per country, supported by: knowledge exchange with ICT platforms; the establishment of a community of practices/knowledge; short-term transnational training events and other events with the goal of setting at least one prison work initiative in each participating prison.

Project specific goals:

  • Create 1 joint curricula: work-based VET training courses to promote inmates reintegration throughout prison work initiatives, by developing staff management skills, namely: prison work and industries awareness, marketing, management, innovation, entrepreneurship, communication, ICT , ecological economics and teamwork in prison staff;
  • Train 36 prison staff, in 3 countries, in multidisciplinary teams of 6 members (2 per country), with 3 short-term transnational training events, to develop and implement innovative „prison work” actions engaging at least 20 inmates per country;
  • Improve community and businesses participation in staff and inmates labour reintegration actions by engaging key stakeholders and experts in national seminars, validation workshops, transnational events and involvement in trainings’ pilot actions

Upcoming events
National seminars: Romania (November 2016)
International seminar: Portugal (July 2017)
Validation workshops:
Romania, Turkey and Portugal (April/May 2016)
Romania, Turkey and Portugal (April/May 2017)

Leading partner: The University of Beira Interior (UBI)
Project partners: The University of Beira Interior (UBI), Penitenciarul Timisoara, The Center for promoting lifelong learning – CPIP, Qualify Just – IT Solutions and Consultancy Lda,West University of Timișoara, General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses (Turkey), European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris), DGRSP – General Directorate of Probation and Prison Services (Portugal)

Duration: 01.09.2014 – 31.08.2017