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Twenty European experts gather in Bilbao to work on alternatives to prison for crimes of gender-based violence

2024 May 22
  • The Confederation of European Probation (CEP), made up of representatives of governments and universities, as well as other academic and judicial agents, is meeting for the first time in the Basque Country after the incorporation of the Basque Government in 2024.
  • Its mission is to exchange good practices with the common concern of protecting society without resorting to imprisonment; to this end, it promotes the social inclusion of convicted persons through community service.
  • The Basque Penalty Management Service is working on two programmes on male violence: the psycho-educational Aldatuz and the therapeutic Gakoa.
  • Nerea Melgosa: "We agree with the CEP on the social inclusion of offenders through community service, probation, mediation and conciliation".

 

Bilbao, 22/05/2024

The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) is a European body made up of several justice administrations, universities, academics and professionals in the field of justice, among other agents, whose mission is to promote the social inclusion of persons sentenced to community service. This forum exchanges best practices with a common concern to protect society without resorting to imprisonment, its ultimate goal being that imprisonment should be an alternative and not the first option. The CEP organises the scope of its work according to the type of crime to be dealt with. To this end, its members hold regular online meetings and an annual face-to-face gathering in one of the Confederation's territories.

This year, Bilbao hosted the working group focusing on gender-based violence. Twenty experts in alternative measures to prison met in the Basque Historical Archive, in what was the first meeting of the Gender Violence group, following the decision of the CEP to merge two previous teams that worked on crimes classified as domestic violence and sexual crimes. It was also the official presentation of Euskadi as the latest member to join the European Confederation.

The meeting was chaired by CEP Secretary General Jana Špero of Croatia and moderated by Professor Kieran McCartan from the University of West England, Bristol. It was attended by representatives from Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, Latvia, Croatia, Malta, North Macedonia, Catalonia, and Turkey and the United Kingdom were invited to present two of their performance programmes. 

Endika Biota, member of the Basque Penalty Management Service, managed by IRSE Euskadi under the supervision of the Basque Government's Department of Equality, Justice and Social Policies, represented the Basque country.

The event took place in the morning and ended with the setting-out of the 2024-2026 work plan.

Basque penitentiary model

The acting Basque Minister of Equality, Justice and Social Policies, Nerea Melgosa, visited the Basque Historical Archive to welcome the group. In his speech, he highlighted the Basque Country's recent incorporation into the European Confederation. "We are the newest partner country of the CEP, and we want to learn from the experiences of our European colleagues and also contribute our knowledge," he said.

Melgosa also emphasised that the CEP's approach fits in perfectly with the Basque penitentiary model promoted by the Basque Government since it took over the management of the three penitentiary centres in the Basque Country in October 2021. "We agree with the CEP on the social inclusion of offenders through community service, probation, mediation and conciliation.  It is one of the aims set out in the foundations of our penitentiary model", he said.

Endika Biota, therefore, outlined the specific programmes for cases of gender-based violence in the Basque Country: the psycho-educational Aldatuz and the therapeutic Gakoa: "Each has its own legal framework, but ultimately what they both aim to do is to get men in touch with their toxic masculinity and to contribute to the changes necessary to avoid it, because at the end of the day, the main targets of these programmes are their partners and their future partners".

The Basque representative in the CEP acknowledged that "we are experiencing a time of change in the legal system of the Basque Country, and we are sure that the CEP is going to play an important role in this new journey".

Finally, Jana Spero, Secretary General of the CEP acknowledged that the Confederation is "the largest and oldest international organisation" with professionals in the field of probation. "For the European Union and the Council of Europe, the CEP is the voice of probation," he said.

2 comments
  •  usuario
  • Photo SN Robot
    @BerdintasunEJGV
    2024 May 22

    Comentario de X:
    🏤La Condeferation of European Probation (CEP), formada por representantes de gobiernos y universidades, además de por otros agentes académicos y judiciales, se reúne por primera vez en Euskadi tras la incorporación del Gobierno Vasco en 2024

    👉https://t.co/TiLfvGfG6U

  • Photo SN Robot
    @BerdintasunEJGV
    2024 May 22

    Comentario de X:
    🇪🇺 #Europa-ko hogei #aditu bildu dira Bilbon indarkeria matxistaren delituetarako espetxeratzearen ordezko neurriak lantzeko

    #indarkeriamatxista #violenciamachista #ordezkoneurriak #medidasalternativas 🧵👇1

    👉https://t.co/hhjoFYUSWw https://t.co/Qu0qyWZfdV

Politicians attending the event
Other guests
  • Jana Špero, secretaria general de la CEP; Endika Biota, representante vasco en la CEP