The first meeting of the network was held on Tuesday 16 June: "The initiative stems from the desire to start a periodic and permanent exchange to discuss and reflect together on how to deal with the various problems that we face working every day in the complexity of prison system - says Stefano Pucci, national Uisp manager of health and social inclusion policies - with the certitude that discussing and sharing experiences can represent a resource in order to find concrete solutions. The network will also become an opportunity to improve internal communication within the association and external communication towards partners, donors, the civil society, strengthening and enhancing the precious work that Uisp has been doing in this area for years. The warm participation and appreciation of the attendees confirms that this is the right path, with the perspective to build Uisp national association network as an association for social promotion ".
Many themes emerged, which will be explored in the next meetings. Next appointment will be mid July. Various problems had been identified, including the difficulty in obtaining funds, the importance of proposing specific training for volunteers and operators working in such a complex context, the central role of prison staff and how to involve the in activities.
Shortly, an online "container" will be available for materials' exchange (including archives, toolkit, articles, photos and videos) in order to share information and good practices within the association. It will provide ideas, working methods and documentation useful for starting or developing new projects. The email address you can refer to is: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the meeting the new European project SPPF Sport in Prison a Plan for Future was presented. The project was launched in January, it involves five different countries and six partners. The focus of the project is Sport, therefore Uisp's experience will be central. The first action is a European survey to investigate the role of sport as a tool to connect prison with the outside world and to identify good practices aimed at facilitating the social reintegration of former detainees. The project will develop two different learning areas per country on these themes. A toolkit and a policy/recommendation document will be produced, based on the results of the learning areas and on scientific research lead by VUB University and will be available to the European Commission.
"It is a very ambitious path, but after the previous and positive experience of the PAC-Prisoner's Active Citizenship project, we have to aim higher - says Stefano Pucci - I thank Camilla de Concini and Daniela Conti who coordinate the project with extraordinary passion. I invite all the members of the Network and all the Uisp Committees in the area to give a contribution, telling their experience by filling in the survey. As far as possible, the goal is to involve prison staff and institutional representatives, such as prisoners' guarantors, in this story. " (I.M.)
The survey can be filled in in any European language at this link:
Pleas feel free to spread it to all your contacts.