4th November 2011

Training workshops focused on combining security and safety for children visiting their parents in prison have begun in Italy. The workshops train existing prison staff on engaging and interacting with children in an environment often perceived as potentially traumatic. The initiative, spearheaded by Eurochips member Bambinisenzasbarre, began last spring.

Last May, at the seat of the Foreign Press in Rome, Bambinisenzasbarre organized a press conference and discussion to present the EU-funded research “Children of imprisoned parents: when the innocent are punished”, led by the Danish Institute of Human Rights. The event opened Eurochips’ European Prisoners’ Children Week Campaign in Italy and was attended by the Italian Ministry of Justice.

Main speakers of the event included:

  • Giuliano Amato: Former Prime Minister, President of the Committee for the Celebrations of the 150 Years of the Unity of Italy.
  • Sebastiano Ardita: Counsellor, General Management Detainees and treatment, Ministry of Justice.
  • Mauro Palma: President of the European Commission against the Torture and Member of the Ethical Committee of Bambinisenzasbarre.
  • Elias Kastner: Ninos sin Barreras, Eurochips Executive Committee.

After the research was presented, the Lombardy’s Superintendency of Italy’s Lombardy region started a new Educational Thematic Workshop which includes training sessions to prison officers, teachers, and social workers in the 19 Lombard prisons. The workshop, entitled “How to Combine Security and Welcoming Children Visiting Prison”, was led by Bambinisenzasbarre.

The first cycle of workshop courses (consisting of 2 full days of training) for prison workers was held in Milan and 7 other cities last spring. The second cycle of these training workshops is scheduled to begin in early winter 2012.

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Author: rmchristen