The Basque minister participated in the CEP Expert Group on Gender-Based Violence in Probation

Bilbao 22-05-2024  © MITXI

 

Mrs Nerea Melgosa, Minister of Equality, Justice, and Social Policies of the Basque Government participated in the CEP Expert Group meeting on Gender-Based Violence in Probation.

The Basque country has been a CEP member since 2023 and on 21-22 May 2024 hosted the first meeting of the CEP Expert Group on Gender-Based Violence in Probation. The meeting took place in the city of Bilbao.

Mr Eugenio Artetxe Palomar, Justice General Director from the Department of Equality, Justice and Social Policies of Basque Country, Judge Jaime Tapia, the Basque Government’s advisor for penitentiary policy and Mr Pablo Maria Martinez Larburu, manager of the Prison management programmes also joined the meeting.

The local expert Mr Endika Biota is a member of the CEP Expert Group and will be representing his jurisdiction in the coming years.

Endika Biota © MITXI
Anna Esquerra © MITXI

Due to the importance of this topic for the Basque Government, a Press release was held in which the Minister of Equality, Justice, and Social Policies, Mrs Nerea Melgosa, the CEP Secretary General, Mrs Jana Špero, and the local representative and Expert Group member Mr Endika Biota participated.

Jana Spero © MITXI
Nerea Melosa © MITXI

Minister Nerea Melosa, in her speech, mentioned the recent incorporation of the Basque Country as a CEP member “We are one of the newest members of CEP, and we want to learn from the experiences of our European colleagues and also to contribute to share our model and good practices” she said.

Melgosa also highlighted that the CEP’s aims and strategy go perfectly in line with the Basque penitentiary model promoted by the Basque Government since last October 2021 when it assumed the competences for the management of the three penitentiary centres in Euskadi. “We share with CEP the same values: social inclusion of offenders through community sanctions and measures, probation, mediation, and conciliation. These are shared objectives that are set as the foundations of our penitentiary model,” she explained.

A total of 13 European experts on Gender-Based Violence in Probation from different European jurisdictions: Latvia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland, Malta, North Macedonia, and Basque Country joined the meeting. The meeting started with a conceptualization of what is understood by gender-based violence in Probation from a European perspective followed by a need’s identification from expert group members.

During the second part of the meeting two guest speakers at the meeting presented good practices in their countries.

Mrs Stacey Musimbe, Probation practice researcher at HM Prison and Probation Service, United Kingdom presented on “The Domestic Abuse Act, three years on”.  The presentation looked at the impact and shortcomings of the Act since its assent in 2021. And it highlighted key areas of progress and work still to be done.

Stacey Musimbe © MITXI

Mrs Gonul Demez, Researcher and lecturer at Akdeniz University, Turkey presented on what kind of practices, measures and sanctions have been taken in Turkey. She continued by examining in depth the measures and practices taken against gender-based violence in the criminal and penal systems together with their results. She described the recent changes and transformations of programs in Turkey which are affiliated to the Probation Department of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Family and Social Services and Municipalities.

The third part of the meeting was focused on discussing and agreeing on the group work plan to be developed between 2024 and 2026.

The group agreed to work on Guidelines on the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence in Probation including three different streams:

  1. Understanding the motivation to treatment and treatment engagement of involuntary clients
  2. Increasing public knowledge and awareness around GBV. To recognize GVB signs of abuse and unhealthy relationships.
  3. How to prevent burnout in Probation staff working with GBV perpetrators

The meeting was moderated by Professor Kieran McCartan, Chair of the Expert Group on Gender-Based Violence and Professor at University West England Bristol, United Kingdom.

 © MITXI

 

The members of the CEP Expert Group will meet again online after the summer and face-to-face in 2025.

Endika Biota , Jana Spero, Nerea Melosa, Anna Esquerra and Kieran McCartan © MITXI

 


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