CEP has been closely following a large research project, a COST Action that commenced in March 2012. COST is Europe’s longest-running intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, funding cooperative scientific projects. In this Action on offender management, 19 European countries (and expanding) are cooperating in four working groups. The respective fields of interest are practicing supervision, experiencing supervision, European policy & practice and decision making & supervision.
The initiators of the COST Action have chosen the four research topics because they noticed that the supervision of offenders in the community has increased in the European Member States. As experienced researchers, they felt that the topic was underrepresented in the academic field. One consequence of this deficit is that research has not delivered the knowledge that is urgently required to engage with political, policy and practice communities grappling with delivering justice efficiently and effectively in fiscally straitened times. Through cooperation and further research, the aim is to deepen the understanding of rehabilitation and disseminate the outcomes within Europe.
The first year involved a review and synthesis of existing knowledge about supervision across European jurisdictions. To report on the findings, a conference was organised in April 2013. CEP representatives participated in the event as well. Materials including video and presentation from this event can be found on the Action’s website.
The current activities of the project can be followed via the blog and pages of the Action’s website, as well as via an active Twitter account (@COST_OSE). It is possible to get involved with the Action, the website lays out the process and requirements. The project runs until 2016.