I want to thank all the seven former Chairpersons for building and supporting the European Prison Education Association, EPEA. The latest, Anita Wilson, is formally stepping down after the period of three years. I know that Anita Wilson has invested a lot of energy and time in her work. When I now take over the baton I hope to be worthy of the role and the task of guiding the work in co-operation with all our members towards further development for the sake of the inmates.
I believe in education for all from the bottom of my heart and I am convinced that EPEA has a big role to play within the prison field, for improvement of the inmates? chances to integrate in the open society. The European Convention on Human Rights states that No person shall be denied the right to education. This means that a wide range of different education and training is necessary to meet the needs of a heterogenic prison population. It also requires flexible organizations for individual based education which guarantee continuity when inmates are transferred from one prison to another. Recognition of the inmate?s experiences, competences and knowledge, the qualification of the teachers and trainers and not least the use of ICT are other requirements which have to be faced and dealt with.
I am looking forward to an inspiring work together for further development of education in prison, according to Council of Europe recommendations.