EU-Funded Penitentiary System Improvement Program Successfully Completed
A closing ceremony today marked the successful completion of a twinning project to improve the penitentiary system in Jordan.
The project, funded by the EU and undertaken in partnership with the Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre Department (CRCD) and the Public Security Directorate (PSD), aimed to enhance the functioning of the Jordanian penitentiary system in accordance with EU standards and international human rights instruments. The implementation of the twinning project was awarded to the Austrian Government.
Launched in July 2008, the project used staff training and succeeded in strengthening the institutional and administrative capacity of the CRCD in order to develop a safer and more secure environment for detainees, in line with international human rights laws.
Staff from the Kingdom's different penitentiary systems participated in a number of workshops and training sessions on a variety of issues, including best practices for the treatment of prisoners, prison management and drug treatment in detention centers. Thirteen Jordanian experts also participated in an on-the-job training course in Austria in 2009, as a case study for prison management.
In addition, and in line with the vision of EU assistance for Jordan, the project graduated future trainers from among the Jordanian prison staff, so as to ensure the continuity and long-term effectiveness of lessons learnt.
The conclusion of the project is timely in light of the construction of four new detention centers in Jordan, expected to be completed in early 2010. The new centers will help ease overcrowding in existing facilities.
"Prison reform and the improvement of detention conditions and the reintegration of detainees as productive members of society are of crucial importance in Europe, in Jordan and everywhere," said Patrick Renauld, Head of the EU Delegation to Jordan in a speech at the closing ceremony. "They contribute to the trust of a society in its institutions and in itself, that each and every one of its members will be protected."
The closing ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Austria in Jordan and representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Justice, the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the PSD and the CRCD.
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