Entre Sistema.EU – Sharing Good Practices between Penitentiary Systems in Europe

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The project “Entre Sistemas.EU” (in English ‘Between Systems.EU’) is a Portuguese project funded by Erasmus+ that emerges from the need to continuously increase the quality of the intervention operated by the Portuguese Prisons and their partners.

The project is promoted by Aproximar, Cooperativa de Solidariedade Socialand brings together 3 more organisations: General Directorate of Rehabilitation and Prison Services, Agrupamento de Escolas D. Carlos I and CULTIV.

The project is based on the basic assumption that services that are ruled by quality can conceive and implement programmes contributing to a better development of their clients. In prisons, the project intends to train and empower the correctional services, and their associated partners (schools, volunteering organizations, and other projects running non-formal education activities inside the prisons and through the gate).


The main objectives of “Between Systems.EU” are:

  1.  to exchange knowledge and good practices between different prisons in Europe
  2.  to improve and empower professional, linguistic and social competences of practitioners, educators, professors, volunteer managers and trainers in areas that contribute to provide support on the preparation to release
  3. to develop and exchange innovative practices in the Portuguese prisons based in good practices proven at transnational level
  4. to create a national and transnational network between different stakeholders of the Prison System

The project is organized in a learning process basis founded in a sequence that integrates training activities (to acquire knowledge and competences) and job shadowing (to mobilize and apply in real work context). Each package is named by the consortium as “expedition”: the “Between Systems.EU” includes the implementation of 1 event and 4 expeditions.


Main topics of work:

  • prison work
  • formal education
  • artistic and volunteering initiatives
  • health care

The first activity of the project was to attend the European Prison Education Association Conference, in Vienna. Since then, mobilities have already been carried out in the area of formal and non-formal education.

Regarding formal education, partners went to receive training in Estonia (Tallinn School) and to do job-shadowing in Finland (Criminal Sanctions Agency).

The results of these mobilities were reflected in the success of the most recent workshop – “Sharing of European Experiences on Formal Education in the Prison System” held on June 15, to disseminate the first project activity focused on formal education in prisons. The event took place at Sintra Prison and more than 70 correctional professionals, teachers, volunteers have attended the event.

According to the satisfaction evaluation of the workshop, participants pointed out that the sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices was very important. The group reflection allowed for a sharing of opinions and a link between the different stakeholders.

The experiences and learning of Training in Estonia and Job Shadowing in Finland, was notable because the knowledge of foreign experiences allows us to rethink the methodologies to improve our national strategy.

To know more about the project please visit our website.

For enquiries, comments or feedback, please contact the project manager: Rita Lourenço.