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Final Meeting Naples (3-4 July 2014)

The partners of VIP Project have met in Naples on July 3th and 4th. The Agenda of meeting has included the visit of female prison of Pozzuoli, the visit at Lazzarelle Factory and the round table with the Manager of prison, the Chief of Guards and the Responsible of educational training of  prison. During the round table the participants have had the opportunity to exchange their ideas and understand how the Italian system works.

The day after there was an interesting  keynote lecture by Professor Barbara Lawrence> from the Department  Justice & Policy Studies  of >Guilford College.

Round table with the staff, the official reprensatives and some prisoners:

Visit of the cooperative:

Demonstration of the final product:

Welcome coffee:

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Austrian team visit the Pozzuoli prison


In june 4th and 5th there was a bilateral meeting between Austrian and Italian partners. The work group went the Pozzuoli Prison and met the women who work inside the factory. They explained the process for roasting coffee and their experience as Lazzarelle workers.

In the afternoon in a workshop with the manager of the prison and her staff, she explained the organisation and the typology of the prison, the number of inmates, the typology of population, the typology of training provided to inmates and the approach used for their re-entering in the labor market.

VIP First Newsletter

The first neswsletter has been released. It will give you a full insight of the project, its partners and the VIP activities.

Project meeting in France

The partners of the VIP programme have meet in Le Puy-en-Velay, France on February 13 and 14, 2014. The agenda has included a roundtable with the manager of the prison, the director of the probation services and the prison responsible for education and training. It has been followed by a visit of the prison with a particular focus on its training facilities. The 27 participants have also exchanged about training paths for trainers active with prisoners. 

The local press has covered the event:



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Young prisoners and neighbors build and paint a boat

Together with the neighbors of the district “Reitdiephaven” in Groningen, the young people of Wilster have again another special project they are working on. Along with neighbors, they paint a real boat. And soon the young people go to work with a kit of a boat that they will assemble along with the neighbors.

Cooperation neighbors and Wilster, part of “het Poortje”

Neighbors of the “Reitdiephaven” have written to the incentive fund of Rabobank and asked them if they will realize this project.
Each random association could submit a request. Through a public ballot there could be voted on various projects including 'rowing boat'.

In their request the neighbors wrote that they want to cooperate with "het Poortje". And that aspect has helped that € 5000, - has been made available for this project.

A tour through the canals with the new boat
Once the boats are built and painted Wilster will join in August a tour from Reitdiep through the canals of Groningen with music and more fun.

Minke Kloppenburg

Political representatives visit the prison in Le Puy-en-Velay

French prisons are overcrowed and they don't fullfill their reinsertion mission . To improve the situation the governement is going to issue a new law to develop electronic bracelet and adaptations of sentences (in order not to send the offender to jail).

The only positive points underlined by the representatives are the possibilities for the prisonners to prepare the diploma of cook thanks to the training organised by Greta du Velay, access to the library system and alfabetisation courses.

Read the full article in Mon43.fr (In French)

Meeting in Vienna (Sept 2013)

28 participants of all the partners of the VIP programme have meet in Vienna, Austria on September  18 to 20, 2013. The agenda included a presentation and discussion of the evaluation results for meeting 1 and 2, and a discussion and evaluation of the Turkish model. Background information on the Austrian prison system and vocational training in prison was provided. On the second day, a site visit at the Justizvollzugsanstalt Simmering was conducted with a particular focus on its training facilities and programmes. The Austrian model was discussed and evaluated in a group discussion.

A working session

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The prison (policies) that make(s) a difference


The Cooperative Lazzarelle is a social enterprise that, using the approach of diversity management engages as members and workers women in prisons for entrepreneurial activities. Now it is involved in coffee production within the female prison of Pozzuoli (NA - IT). The female prison of Pozzuoli is the largest prison of southern Italy. In this prison at the moment there are 200 women.

The cooperative was born in 2010, by the belief that prisons should not be a dark and forgotten place. The Cooperative Lazzarelle promotes the creation of innovative approach to entrepreneurship and self-employment of women, to respond to two different types of problems. First, groped to solve the serious problem of unemployed and underemployed women; secondly, encouraging the raising of social enterprises able to offer and deliver innovative services to the territory.

In Italy, the female prison population has increased dramatically over the last ten years. The increase primarily due to the increased use of imprisonment to punish offences that were previously punished by non-custodial sentences. This is particularly the case in relation to drug offences and non-violent theft. Another element of the increasing crime rate is the severe economic crisis that Italy and in particular women, weak labor market are going through. Women’s offending and imprisonment is closely related to women poverty. Women on remand constitute a large percentage of the women prison population in many countries. Women offenders typically come from economically and socially disadvantaged segments of society. Typically, they are young, unemployed, have low levels of education and have dependent children. Major crimes committed by these women are: to push drugs and robbery. Many of them have stories of alcohol and substance abuse. These women often have primary responsibility for the family, when a woman is in to prison the consequences for her family are often very significant. The family visits are very important. Where visits are possible, often the conditions make them traumatic for all parties: long waits in inhospitable waiting areas, restrictions on the length of visit and number of people permitted, and intrusive searches, even of children. Maintaining contact with children is also particularly difficult for women from extra communitarian countries, because relatives have no permit status and can not take children. The relationship with their children is very difficult from prison. Maintaining contact with children through phone calls and letters is likely to be particularly problematic. Restrictions about calls duration makes difficult to speak with children. A mother with several children may find hard to share out ‘phone-time’ between them so that they all get an equal chance to speak with her. Children may be too young to read or write letters. In Italy the prison should have a reformative, restorative and rehabilitative function. The main way that this is done is by giving prisoners the opportunity to be educated, gain skills for future employment. But often this does not happen because the prison has not real training programs. Training is left to external agency, and often there is lack of money in order to fund training.

In Italy the female prisons are 7. First on January 2011 women prisoners in Italy was about 2.526 (department of justice) Prison systems and prison regimes are almost invariably designed for the majority male prison population – from the architecture of prisons, to security procedures, to facilities for healthcare, family contact, work and training. Female prisons are an adaptation of male prisons. As consequence, prisons tend not to accomplish with needs of female prisoners, and women in prison are affected by imprisonment in a particularly harsh way.

Immacolata Carpiniello


Uşak prison's visit

During the meeting in Uşak, we have visited the prison, guided by the director  and the prosecutor.

Uşak's prison was built in 1989 and remodelled in 2007. It hosts 688 persons (375 convict prisoners, 220 detainees in closed penal institution and 93 in semi-open institution). It is an E-Type prison (according to Wikipedia : Built on two floors based on the ward (koğuş) system and later changed to rooms for 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 persons. Each room has its own exercise yard. The lower floors are for eating; the upper floors are the dormitories). It is acknowledge by the Council of Europe as a model prison.

There are 231 wardens, for a total staff of 269.

We visited the common areas for leisure as well as the workshops premises mainly articulated around leather and textile work.  Approximately 56 people are working there, to make bags, jackets, belts and other leather articles. They are sold in shops managed by the prison authorities, one is located in the prison area, one in the city center and there is a network of such shops all over Turkey (they also organise fairs where all the products elaborated by prisoners are sold).

Moreover, they assembly blankets and cleaning devices as subcontractors for external companies.

Among the training courses proposed, one run by a psychologist is dedicated to anger control.

The shop in the city center:


Meeting in Uşak

The 15 of April, ViP partners have been welcomed by Alis Osman Cakin, chairman of Ukkader, aiming at developing training in the Uşak region, together with the Director of the prison and the Director of the probation service.


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