KA2 Innovation: Adult education

The successful transition of (ex-) prisoners from prison to community requires their support, education and training both in prison and in the community.

Detainees, who receive both individual and group counseling and ongoing support and training, as well as general or vocational education, have been shown to have reduced recidivism rates and higher employment rates, findings namely that highlight the need for combined support and training.

Prisoners, in order to “make good use” of their sentence and see the period of confinement as a “second chance” to acquire skills and qualifications in order to better manage or cope with life in general, will have to work within themselves, with their mindset and spirit.

According to research, the change (namely the breaking of the vicious circle of marginalization, crime, etc.) is marked by a shift of positions of the subjects (perceptions, principles, values, etc.), from those that the prisoners possessed in the beginning to more flexible forms, including the multiple voicing.

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In order to achieve results capable of giving prisoners the necessary supplies to continue as equal citizens, with obligations and rights, it is necessary to introduce flexible programs that will provide prisoners with support before and after release, which will be combined with career counseling, provision of social skills as well as life skills, preparing the individual for the transition from prison to community.

It is clear that in this context a special role is given to educators and program managers as facilitators, animators and supporters, as well as to prisoners who act as role models and collaborators having the role of mentor.

The STEPs project aims to give these opportunities to the inmate population, freeing them from ignorance, social clumsiness and “disability” and offering them support and remedial experiences to escape the vicious cycle of marginalization, crime and unemployment. The way to break this cycle is to cultivate confidence in them and in society, so that they can survive using legal means and avoid recidivism.

The partners of the “STEPs” partnership work together to create an innovative training material, which – through the prison schools or the support and reintegration centers of prisoners and other related structures – will support the effective reintegration of prisoners into society, in order for the prisoners to improve decision-making ability. The innovative product of the program will be based on new technologies and will offer virtual reality experiences to learners and their educators.

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