The first staff-training event within the BWP project has been organized last week (16th – 19th MAY 2022) in Timisoara, Romania, hosted by Penitenciarul Timisoara in collaboration with Centrul pentru  Promovarea Invatarii Permanente – CPIP. The four-day training session focused on strategies for recognising and responding to discrimination in prison institutions in order to contribute to the social inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized categories of persons deprived of liberty. Together with representatives in the field from partner countries, we had the opportunity to share experience and to discover specific techniques for overcoming discriminatory and conflict situations. 

The first day of the training event focused on interactive sessions and self-awareness exercises, highlighting more details about the Romanian penitentiary system and the role of the Directorate! During the visit to Timisoara Penitentiary and the meeting of the rehabilitation and re-education teams, open discussions on discriminatory practices and efforts to combat them were defined. Activities on the second and third day of the training event captured open discussions on specific case studies, situational games and role-playing games on topics related to:  

Criminal offences with increased risk of discrimination
Domestic violence offenders
Gender equality
Human Trafficking
Crimes against sexual freedom
Disabilities & mental health
Ethnic minorities
Religious discrimination
Extremist ideologies
Human rights in prison & non-discrimination programmes
Foreign nationals
How to communicate with language barriers exercise
Discriminating ex-offenders in the community theory and exercise

In particular, interactive discussions on discrimination and cultural differences were reflected during the external visit to the Buziaș Educational Centre. Inspiring best practices from each partner country were shared! And relevant strategies and key points will be considered in future activities in the process of identifying and responding to discrimination in prisons.