From the 4th until the 7th of July 2023, the Criminal Justice Platform Europe organised the 5th edition of the Criminal Justice Summer Course with the Centre of Legal Studies and Specialised Training in Barcelona. This year’s theme was ‘Mental Health Issues in Criminal Justice’.
The Summer Course consisted of a combination of plenary sessions, workshops, seminars and field visits bringing together participants with a background in prison, probation and restorative justice from various European and World Wide countries. The aim of the Summer Course is to offer a unique opportunity for criminal justice colleagues from different jurisdictions to reflect and learn new approaches on how to better work with offenders, victims and communities to prevent and reduce the impact of crime.
This year, the focus was on practice: what works – new ideas – restorative methods –trauma-informed practices – research – the mental health of staff working in critical occupations – workshops – practice visits – sharing experience. The aim was that participants bring their expertise and, through engaging with the courses, became better equipped and informed about current approaches and effective interventions.
In this course, each organisation member of CJPE addressed the topic of Mental Health Issues in Criminal Justice from a different but complementary angle:
– The European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) focussed on mental health challenges in closed correctional settings and on how to create a safer environment;
– The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) explored factors that contribute to mind health, brain and nervous system, the impact of trauma, staff resilience in a critical occupation and presentation of researches in this field with a focus on probation;
– The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) will offer a course on trauma-informed practice in criminal justice, focusing on restorative justice.
Plenary presentations available are the following:
– Annie Devos, Director-General of the Houses of Justice in Wallonia-Brussels Federation (Belgium). She also acts as CEP President and Vice-President of the Council for penological cooperation (PC-CP) – The Council of Europe White paper on the management of offenders with mental health disabilities and disorders.