On the 19th of June the second Expert Meeting on Education and training took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia with the purpose of including education and training within the sector of probation on the European agenda.
With a fast developing European criminal justice sector, a clear need has emerged for more knowledge on education and training. For this reason, CEP has started up a project on this topic and has appointed the University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Utrecht to conduct a survey among EU member states on pre-employment training and incareer continuous training for probation and community supervision practitioners at an European level. At the first CEP expert meeting on Education and Training in Utrecht, December 2018, the first results from the survey were presented. It was also a starting point for creating a network of experts on education and training both within the probation sector as well as the pre-employment academic sector.
At this second meeting, CEP’s Policy Officer Maria Lindström started off with an introduction to the topic of the day together with Joep Hanrath, researcher from Utrecht University of applied science in the Netherlands. The opening was followed by a presentation by Nicola Carr, one of the authors of the drafted guidelines regarding recruitment, selection training and professional development of prison and probation staff. Her presentation was about the question: “What challenge do the guidelines pose for the professional execution of probation?”.
Séverine Dubaïssi, responsible for the development of training at L Ecole Nationale d ´Administration Penitentiaire (ENAP) held a presentation on the formation of the probation worker in the French context, and the facilitation of the transfer between school based learning and workplace learning. Séverine gave an overview on how the recruitment process and the first two years of education for probation officers is carried out in France. ENAP is a national organisation with around 380 staff trainers and they provide training for 500 probation officers every year.
The next presentation was held by Anneke Menger, emeritus professor at the University of Applied science, Utrecht the Netherlands. She introduced the participants to the basic principles of the working alliance and the challenges of working with mandated clients.
The final presentation was held by Danijela Mrhar Prelić, Director General for the Slovenian Probation Administration. She reflected on the presentations from the perspective of being Director of the youngest probation service in Europe. The Slovenian probation service started in April 2018. The decision to start a probation service was taken in 2006, but there was no real political support until 2015. Education and training were one of the most crucial topics in their action plan to set up the probation service.