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Talk for the volunteers on the “From prison to community” project

Facultat de Dret
A study in which the UAB is involved will investigate whether assistance with the transition into the community for people who have served a prison sentence improves reintegration levels. Members of the university community can take part as mentors during the final months of the sentence and the first few months on release.

On the 3rd and 11th of November, the Faculty of Law will hold two talks for volunteers on the "From prison to community: experimental project of social reintegration of convicts at risk of relapse" project. The UAB's Research Group in Criminology Applied to Penology, the Solidarity Autonomous Foundation and the Compromís Social UAB project are taking part in the event. The volunteers may be teaching, research or administrative personnel, or staff from other UAB departments, as well as students aged over 25 years. The two meetings will be held in the "Sala de graus" at 1.00 pm on the 3rd of November, and at 4.00 pm on the 11th of November.

The purpose of this project is to prove that the support of a mentor, at the end of the sentence and during the first few months back in the community, can help with reintegration and, at the same time, prevent relapse. The volunteers will be mentors for one year. If the expected results are achieved, the project aims for all convicts to benefit from a reintegration scheme.

The main researchers are Josep Cid, professor in the department of Political Science and Public Law, and Antonio Andrés Pueyo, professor in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment at the UB. The Catalan Government's Department of Justice and the Centre for Legal Studies and Specialised Training is also taking part in the project, in collaboration with other organizations such as the Andròmines association, the Apip-Acam Foundation, the Coordinator against Marginalization for Cornellà, the Cedre association and the Justícia i Pau NGO. The project has been selected by RecerCaixa 2014, an initiative of the "la Caixa" Foundation and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) that provides support and resources to pioneer projects.

Different recidivism

Each year in Catalonia approximately 4,000 convicts complete their sentences, 30% of whom will be incarcerated again following a new offence. The rate of prison recidivism (a new prison sentence for a new offence) of convicts who are freed gradually is 20% while the figure for those who are released without any transition into the community is 38%. The general objective of this project is to provide scientific evidence to help decide whether there is reason enough to change the present discretionary system to another in which everyone can complete their sentences with a transition back into the community.

The project will involve a total of 150 volunteers who will help people that are about to complete their sentences without a gradual return to society in the second semester of 2016. The volunteers will receive initial training, tools for their work as a mentor and information about the kind of people with whom they will be working. They will be overseen by the responsible institutions, and mentors will be provided with support and meeting points where they can share their experiences. Mentorships will last twelve months: four months before the sentence is completed and the first eight months out of prison. Meetings will be held every fortnight during the time in prison and every week in the months after release.

Further information:Registration for the presentation of the “From prison to community project.

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