The findings of the comparative study and the pilot project will be presented publicly. Information on the events where they will be presented will be made available in due course.
On 28 May 2021, Penal Reform International convened an online Experts Meeting, attended by all the project partners and about 40 practitioners, academics, NGOs and policy experts from 18 countries.
The impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on community service, on the release of prisoners, and on the work and wellbeing of probation staff were discussed in plenary and in four breakout sessions.
On 22 June 2021, the UC research team held a virtual meeting with the experts from the European Union Member States who are collaborating, through the preparation of national reports, in the comparative study on the application of non-custodial sentences across Europe.
On November 4, 2021, UC and PRI held a workshop with Portuguese criminal justice stakeholders, including probation, judiciary, civil society, among others, to discuss the findings and recommendations of the report on the impact of COVID-19 on non-custodial sanctions and measures. This meeting was part of the project funded by the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation (IPPF) that aims to support and deliver more responsive, adaptive and resilient probation systems in the face of COVID-19 and other future crises, ensuring the needs and circumstances of all individuals serving non-custodial sentences or recently released from prison are met in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner.
Upcoming capacity building activities of our European Commission funded project “PRI Alt Eur” were also discussed with the local stakeholders. These will include training for probation and judiciary professionals and a pilot project to better support the needs of individuals with mental health problems while serving non-custodial sentences.
On 22 April 2022, the pilot project on the implementation of community sentences and measures involving convicted individuals with mental healthcare needs was launched at an online meeting with the participation of the UC research team, the Probation Service and the Community Mental Health Team of Dão-Lafões, Viseu.
From 4 to 6 May, the training on non-custodial sentences and measures took place at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, with the participation of magistrates, social reintegration technicians, researchers and mental health professionals.
Speakers included: Rob Allen (independent consultant in criminal justice and social reintegration), José de Almeida Brites (director of the NGO O Companheiro), William Themudo Gilman (Judge), Ana Cristina Neves and Jorge Monteiro (DGRSP Chief of Division), as well as the UC research team, Anabela Miranda Rodrigues, Maria João Antunes, Sónia Fidalgo, Inês Horta Pinto and Karla Ishiy.
On this occasion, the launching of the pilot project on the implementation of non-custodial sentences and measures applied to people with mental health care needs was presented by Maria João Antunes (FDUC), Miguel Xavier (National Coordinator of Mental Health Policies) and Francisco Navalho (Deputy Director-General of Prison and Probation Services).