The International Training School on Core Correctional Skills (ITSCCS) training, is a one-week immersive experience that offers participants the opportunity to develop fundamental core correctional skills. These skills encompass relationship building, pro-social modelling, problem-solving, motivational interviewing, and cognitive restructuring. What sets this training apart is its dynamic approach, which merges theoretical knowledge with hands-on, real-world application. It’s not just about understanding concepts; it’s about practising and refining them in the context of actual situations.

Danijela Mrhar Prelić, Director General of Slovenian Probation Administration

At the heart of ITSCCS’s impact lies the experience of Danijela Mrhar Prelić, the Director General of the Slovenian Probation Administration, Body of the Ministry of Justice. Danijela sheds light on the journey that led to the implementation of the ITSCCS training within the Slovenian Probation Administration. Recognizing the urgent need for core correctional skills within their field, Danijela and her colleagues embarked on a quest to enhance their abilities in areas such as treating offenders, motivation, establishing working alliances, problem-solving, and more.

Danijela’s understanding of the broader applicability of these skills led her to emphasize, “It’s not only probation officers who can benefit from this training. We wanted to adapt it for the Slovenian context, involving not just probation officers but the entire spectrum of professionals within the Administration.”

She further elaborates on the training’s transformative potential, stating, “The idea is not just to get the knowledge but to start practising and trying to use these tools in everyday work. The skills we are developing here are life skills in general. They are applicable not only in the criminal justice system but also in social work, in any kind of counselling, and in daily life.”

Core correctional skills in three phases

The ITSCCS training, uniquely tailored and implemented for the Slovenian Probation Administration, unfolds in three phases, each building on the other to create a transformative learning journey. The first phase encompasses a comprehensive week-long school where participants delve into the intricacies of therapeutic alliance, pro-social modelling, motivational interviewing, problem-solving, and cognitive behavioural approaches. This initial phase serves as the foundational groundwork.

To quote Danijela Mrhar Prelić on the uniqueness of the three-phase approach: “Our aim was not only to provide knowledge but to support the implementation of these skills in our specific professional context. The three-phase model was born out of the need for sustained learning and professional integration.”

Recognizing that sustained learning requires ongoing support, the second phase introduces coaching and mentorship, specifically designed for the Slovenian context. Mentors and coaches guide participants as they apply their acquired skills in real-life settings within Slovenia. This peer-to-peer collaboration and mentorship amplify the impact of the training, making it a collective endeavour rather than an isolated pursuit.

The third phase, known as the “booster,” is a Slovenian innovation that addresses specific needs and further refines skills. It’s an opportunity for participants to reflect on their progress within their unique professional environment, seek guidance, and receive support as they continue to integrate core correctional skills into their practices

A skillset for life

Danijela Mrhar Prelić’s emphasis on the broader applications of ITSCCS training resonates throughout the program’s structure. This emphasis is not just about skill development but about cultivating empathy, understanding, and effective communication.

In a world where communication, empathy, and understanding are the bedrock of meaningful interactions, the ITSCCS training stands as a beacon of excellence. As Danijela Mrhar Prelić aptly puts it, “These skills are not limited only to professional settings. They are skills for life.”

Join the Journey

Now, the opportunity to experience the ITSCCS training is open to a wider audience. As Danijela passionately advocates, “I would recommend it to everybody, to the whole level. Because the experience that we had in Slovenia in the whole organizational level, I must say from my point of view, I’ve gained knowledge and skills on how to work with my colleagues. It’s a motivation that everybody needs a skill, how to work with the person.” This one-week training program is designed to refresh and update the core skills of experienced correctional staff and provide newcomers with an innovative starting point.

Are you triggered to experience this training? Join now; the registration deadline is 20 September.

Register now for the one-week training in International Training School on Core Correctional Skills from October 2nd to 6th in Barcelona, Spain!

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