The reason for the workshop was, that numerous programmes, similar in vison to our MEREPS project, have been launched lately in the Balassagyarmat Prison and several other correctional facilities.
The aim of the meeting was to:
- share our experiences and future plans concerning the subject,
- get information about other programmes,
- work out a solution on how these programmes could work together,
- avoid paralell work and the overburdening of prison staff and inmates involved
- by using a professional network, encourage the information and experience exchange on the field of RJ in prisons.
The meeting included our presentation of the MEREPS project, while we also asked the participants to introduce planned or realized similar programmes of their own. After this, we talked about the harmonization of programmes, and we also discussed the legislative measures needed in order for these projects to be truly effective.
The workshop was in person attended by 18 of the 19 invitees, and that by itself represents the dedication of those involved, toward the subject.. The workshop was attended by the Penal Authorities Headquarters, the Ministry of Justice, the Balassagyarmat Prison, the Balassagyarmat Office of Justice, the Tököl Juvenile Prison, the Hungarian Judicial Academy, the Partners Hungary Foundation, the Hungarian Crime-prevention and Prison-mission Foundation, the Community Service Foundation Hungary, the Central Office of Justice, the National Institute of Criminology and the Foresee Research Group.
The nearly three hour-long workshop was an inspiring starting point of a long-term partnership in the field of the use of alternative dispute resolutions in correctional facilities.