November 2018 – Albania
The reformation of the Albanian prison system began after the communist regime collapsed.
Focussing in on reforming the prison system, there was:
– An establishment of new institutions and improvement of treatment conditions. Over the last 10 years, 10 new institutions have been opened and all others have been reconstructed;
– The drafting of legal and sub-legal acts in accordance with European standards;
– An application of programs for the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders
– Recruitment and staff training.
Within the organic structure of prison staff, there are social workers, psychologists, education specialists who conduct individual assessment of the offenders and draft the punishment plan.
The social service staff has benefited from some important training on risk assessment, integrated sentence plan, mental health problem management, vulnerable groups support, drafting intervention plans, and so on.
Rehabilitation plans are based on the education of offenders, which is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, based on a joint agreement. All juvenile offenders are required to complete compulsory education. In the Juvenile Institute Kavaja, you can find both compulsory education and high secondary education.
Education is also offered to adult convicts in Prison and Detention Institutions. In this year 98 offenders completed 9 years of education.
The General Directorate of Prisons, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, will review curricula, in accordance with age and psycho-social features.
Employment is a very important activity in the rehabilitation of prisoners. Currently there are about 654 convicts involved in internal services such as hygiene, garden, library, etc. The General Directorate is finalizing several employment projects for tailoring, evening, waste recycling.
In many institutions, workshops, professional training, electrical, plumbing, carpentry etc. have been set up.
In all prisons there are libraries where prisoners have the opportunity to read and discuss the books.
Many other projects are implemented in the prison system, such as education through art, sports, painting, music, theatre, for juvenile women and adult prisoners.
by Femi Sufaj, Head of Training Staff in General Directory of Prison