The Macedonian reform of national penal legislation and the judicial system in general has passed a lot of efforts in the last years. A lot of money has already been invested especially in the area covering the national penitentiary system, for instance through the loan of the Development Bank of the Council of Europe with regard to further improvement to the infrastructure of the prison system.
The reform of the prison system, the implementation of the National Strategy for Development of the Penitentiary System in the country will continue. The Strategy for the development of the probation service and the Strategy for Development of Training of Prisoners staff will be developed in order to improve the overall situation regarding the execution of sanctions, in terms of improving the conditions for serving a prison sentence, but also from the aspect of increasing the use of alternative measures into practice.
The project shall focus on two components.
The first one is to mainly contribute to strengthen the oversight function of Directorate for execution of Sanctions (DES), to successful functioning of the institutions, of planned activities for the security system and the execution of sentences – including the dimension of punishment – as well as the dimension of re-socialization and social adaptation of the perpetrators in the community.
The second component will have a more specific target, focused exclusively on the successful and efficient implementation of all activities within the legal competences of the probation service and the implementation of an alternative sanctions system.
The approach for component 1 of this Twinning project (prison reform) is:
– to develop – in close cooperation with the Beneficiary – proposals how to strengthen the penitentiary system’s institutional and administrative capacity of DES,
– to steer and manage penitentiary affairs, specifically policy/strategic framework and inter-institutional cooperation, strategic planning with action plans, human resource management and monitoring prison operations, and the improvement of the human rights of persons deprived of liberty through pre-release and re-socialisation efforts.
Regarding the establishment of a special Probation Service in the country (component 2), the consortium will consider the outputs of the IPA Project 2010 project “Further support for independent, accountable, professional and efficient judiciary and promotion of Probation Service and alternative sanctioning”. The basic activities required for establishing and operation of the probation service have been provided during the lifetime of that project (e.g. bylaws and other necessary documents for the functioning of the probation).
Our consortium will support to strengthen the work of the Probation Service and foster alternative sanctions. It will pursue to develop the institutional and organizational structure of the Probation Service, training of staff and ToT, introduce standards and operational of procedures and manuals, installing of treatment supervision and monitoring programs for offenders and convicts and enhancing the cooperation with the judiciary and the partnership with external institutions and organizations of the civil society.