Interview with new CEP board member Eric Bezem

During the General Assembly in Croatia, a new CEP Board got elected for the upcoming three years. In the coming weeks we will publish interviews with all newly-elected board members where they will share information on their professional background, how they would like to contribute, what challenges lie ahead and many more.

Enjoy reading!


Can you shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Eric Bezem and I am a director-general for Sentences and Protection at the Ministry of Justice and Security in the Netherlands. My directorate is responsible for the probation and prison policy and the principal of the probation organizations, among other things. Previously, I built a new directorate for probation policy, which I led for three years.

Why did you decide to run for the CEP Board?

In my opinion, the CEP fulfills the very important role to exchange experiences, knowledge, and policy about probation, rehabilitation, and the social inclusion of offenders between the members and even outside Europe. Therefore, I became a board member. During meetings of the CEP, I have observed that there is much we can learn from each other. The CEP is a significant and valuable network.

How would you like to contribute to the development of CEP in the upcoming three years and what impact do you hope to have on CEP?  And What are your main priorities/topics you would like to open while serving as the CEP Board member and how would you like to make use of your knowledge to the development of CEP?

As a member of the CEP board, I am challenged to help the CEP in realizing its goals. I hope to support the CEP with my long experience and knowledge of Dutch probation and prison facilities. During my career, I contributed to the goals to reduce recidivism, stimulate specific and general prevention, and improve the rights of victims.

What challenges lie ahead of CEP in the future and how do we sustain probation during those challenging times?

An important and common goal for the coming years is to improve and influence the policy and legislation of the European Union and Council of Europe. With our joint knowledge and experience, we can provide Europe with expertise and data. In a world that is driven by opinions, social media, and one-liners it is increasingly important to provide political decision-makers with facts, research, and knowledge. I am an untiring advocate for evidence-based policy for probation.


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