Miscellaneous News February 2010
Publication date: 18-2-2010
At the offices, CEP regularly receives (e)mail on events, publications and developments in the field of probation in Europe and even beyond. As some of these items may be of interest of our member organizations, CEP brings you a selection of this news.
Ex offenders, employment and the economic crisis
The economic crisis hits hard on the sectors of prison and probation in Europe. Budgets of organisations across all sectors are being cut and projects are under threat at a time when they are most needed. So how should these challenges be met? This will be the focus of the 2010 international event of the European Offender Employment Forum (EOEF), held in Valencia (Spain), 15-16th of April. The participants will also be updated on the Ex Offender Community of Practice which was launched at EOEF's first event in Lisbon last year. For more detailed information and subscription, please click here.
If you would like to present a case study please contact Mike Stewart on firstname.lastname@example.org.
German Congress on Crime Prevention
The German Congress on Crime Prevention (GCOCP, or Deutsche Präventionstag) is an annual event that targets all areas of crime prevention, attracting thousands of professionals each year. This year the conference will be held in Berlin, 10-11th of May. The theme of the 15th GCOCP is 'Education - prevention - future'. As is the tradition since 2007, the GCOCP also includes a programme in English for non-German speaking visitors. Altogether there will be over 300 speeches and presentations. In addition to that films on (crime) prevention will be shown. Go to the GCOCP website for more detailed information and subscription (in German).
Doing Restorative Justice in Europe
The 6th International Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice marks the 10th anniversary of this organisation. This makes it an ideal opportunity to look back at restorative justice practices developed so far and to look forward to new practices, possibilities and opportunities. The conference 'Doing Restorative Justice in Europe' will cover three main themes: the work of practitioners (mediators and facilitators), cooperation with legal practitioners and conferencing. The conference will take place from 17-19th of June in Bilbao (Spain). More information and the full programme of the conference can be found here.
Proposals for workshop presentations must be handed in before March 1st. For more informtion contact Karolien Mariën at email@example.com.
Sex offenders and preventive detention
Modern communications make it impossible for sex offenders to reintegrate unnoticed in the community after their time in prison. Keeping them locked up because people will not accept them as neighbours is effectively imprisonment on suspicion. Then what should we do? Bernadette McSherry and Patrick Keyzer have written the book Sex Offenders and Preventive Detention - Politics, policy and practice about this topic. It is aimed at a broad audience, which crosses from criminology and politics to proposals for law reform. The authors base their book around three case studies from Washington State, Scotland and Queensland, representing the three main legislative options for managing sex offenders.
Find out more about this title by clicking here.
Controlling security in a culture of fear
Who controls security in a culture of fear? The erosion of traditional safeguards in the quest for security raises questions about the meaning of justice, public protection, legal safeguards and resilience. The book Controlling security in a culture of fearpresents a cross-disciplinary exchange on the notion of fear and its influence on international criminal, economic and security policy. The authors chart new lines of research as they offer a variety of perspectives on the problems and trends that are emerging from national and international responses to insecurity. For more information, click here.
International Perspectives of Crime Prevention
While above the 15th The German Congress on Crime Prevention (GCOCP) is announced, there is also some news about the 13th GCOCP from 2008. Marc Coester and Erich Marks have published the book "International Perspectives of Crime Prevention 2", which contains contributions from lecturers and participants of the 2nd Annual International Forum (i.e. the international programme of the GCOCP) ". The articles reflect worldwide views on crime prevention as well as the current status, discussion, research and projects in crime prevention from different countries. Also included are the welcome speech and the declaration of the CEP workshop ‘Probation meets Prevention'. The book can be read online at Google Books.
The presentations, speeches and research reports of the GCOCP held in the German language have also been published. This book, edited by Erich Marks and Wiebke Steffen, is called "Engagierte Bürgersichere Gesellschaft" and equally can be viewed at Google Books.
Television & radio shows on probation
If you always have wanted to watch television under working hours with the approval of your boss, here is your chance. CSOSA, the parole and probation organisation of Washington D.C.has a website with shows for a general public on topics as crime, criminal offenders and the criminal justice system. The latest video is on cooperation between the police and the CSOSA. All videos are subtitled (in English) and can be viewed here.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the US Justice Department also became more active in internet broadcasting. It started a series of podcasts that are designed to provide listeners with the latest information on innovations, practices, and perspectives from the field of criminal justice. Click here to listen to the first podcast.
Drugs and the city
For the last five years the European Union has funded the project 'Democracy, Cities and Drugs'. This project links 300 European cities to each other and to civil society organisations. As such it acts as a sustainable network of exchange of know-how on local and integrated responses to the drug phenomenon. It aims to develop local, partnership-based drug policies, involving relevant stakeholders such as local authorities, health services and criminal justice services. Go to the project website for more information.
Justice reinvestment: probation in the US on the rise
More than one in every hundred American adults are imprisoned. This costs the American tax payers 50 billion dollar a year (compared to 12 billion in 1988). Despite this tremendous expenditure recidivism rates remain high. In many US states half of all individuals released from state prison are reincarcerated within three years. Last November however Congress authorized the US Attorney General to (financially) support states in implementing 'justice reinvestment' (which largely coincides with applying alternative sanctions and probation measures) with a overwhelming majority. In January 2010 a summit on justice reinvestment was organised with experts and leading members of Congress from both parties. Experiences in states like Texas were highlighted. There the prison population was projected to grow by more than 14,000 people in the period 2007-2012. Sensible policies however stopped the growth and saved the state 443 million dollar (of which more than 200 million was redirected to strengthen probation and parole and to expand treatment services). At the same time the overall state crime rate has declined. Want to read more, click here.
Suggest a community sanction
According to the Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen "the opposite of creativity is cynicism". The British government must have had the same opinion when it introduced a new initiative in the framework of Justice Seen, Justice Done. This is a national programme to improve public confidence in how crime is tackled and justice delivered. A critical element in the campaign is Community Payback. Community Payback can be given to offenders as part of a community sentence (doing up to 300 hours of unpaid work). Offenders must wear bright orange high-visibility jackets, marked 'Community Payback' while they're working. Since 2009, the British government calls on the creativity of the public in England and Wales regarding the community payback. With advertisements on the radio, in newspapers and on billboards people are actively encouraged to propose concrete projects in the neighbourhood which can be executed by offenders via internet. The local Probation Service will then get back in touch to inform if the project has been accepted. The form for community payback proposals can be accessed via https://communitypayback.cjsonline.gov.uk/.