Partenariat éducatif GRUNDTVIG,European perspectives on raising social competencies of offenders, partenariat (2012 – 2014), n° 2012-1-LT1-GRU06-07133 7, 4th Partners’ meeting in Paris

REPORT OF THE 4th Partners' Meeting in Paris, France – March 17th to 21th 2014


·       United Kingdom: PROSPECTS (Tracy Sunderland, Rose Saunders, Melanie Wheeler, Jasmine Brown)

 ·       Greece: 3rd Second Chance School (Triantafyllia Marinopoulou, ApostolosSamalis, ChristofiliTsiami, AgoritsaPapahatzi, Charilaos Trakas, Chaido Traka)

·       Lithuania: Elektrenai Centre of Vocational Training (BroneVilutiene, Silva  Lengviniene, Lina Ališauskiene, Birute Misiuniene)

·              Romania: EuroTrainer (Toma Manuela-Lavinia, Stan Iulia-Cristiana)


·       Romania: Asociatia O Noua Sansa In Viata (Mihaela Dita)


·       Spain: Cepa Yucatan (Emilio Izquierdo, Elena Simon)


·       Italy: Ministry of Justice, Prap Campania (Rita Romano, Sabato Costabile, Angelo Sorrentino, Federico Zaccaria, Dolorosa Franzese, Michelina Cassese)


·       Turkey: Antalya Republic Attorney (Ertan Ünsal, Sabri Hatipoğlu, Güngör Çabuk, Burcu Kaya)


·       France: Eurl Aristote (Lucile Garnier, Tomas Versinskas, Giedre Cibulskaite ; René Foltzer from local partner Association Nationale des Visiteurs de Prisons (National Association of Prison Visitors) ; local partner Diderot University: professor and pedagogical director of the department Jean-François Cottier, administrative director Nadège Cauchois, English professor and in charge of conferences in women prison of Fresnes Jean-Luc Deschamps and pedagogical secretary Nathalie Cuny.


·       Presenting and discussing the experience of French partner organization.

·       Discussing results of testing the teaching and learning tools in each partner country.

·       Final decisions for improvement of the tools.

·       Discussing project evaluation process.

·       Discussing the disseminating results of the meeting locally in each country.

·       Discussing preparation of final DVD with innovative teaching and learning tools.

·       Discussing translating and adapting the project results for local use. Producing DVDs.

·       Planning the meeting in Bucharest on May 05-10, 2014.

·       European Shared Treasure database.



    Tuesday, 18 March

Welcome by the hosts and the coordinator. Presentation of the experience of the French partners, exchange of expertise and good practices. Questions and answers with Giedre Cibulskaite and her colleagues about their work and experiences.


At the conference room of the hotel in Paris, we welcomed our international partners. The local partner presented their association: René Foltzer is the administrator of the Association Nationale des Visiteurs de Prisons (ANVP) (eng. National Association of Prison Visitors). The goal of the association is to send persons into prisons to interact with the inmates at least twice a month. They provide social support, listen to inmates and for some inmates, serving longer penalties, the volunteers of the association are the only persons, visiting them during the time in prison.

There are two types of prisons in France:

-        The short term prisons called “maisons d’arrêt” for the short penalties (1 month to 7 years) or for the arrested people awaiting trial. For them, their families are usually present if the penalty is not too long.

-        The long term prisons called “centrales” are for inmates with penalties from 7 years to “life sentences” (25 years). Sometimes the inmates in these prisons have no link to the outside world: families break relations with the inmates. Thus the visitors are sometimes the only persons to come and see them.

The visitors are volunteers, since it requires time to go to the prisons and interact with the inmates. Therefore, visitors are often retired persons. Becoming a member of the association is easy: it requires a motivation letter and a criminal record check (to make sure no criminal offences were made). The visitors receive training on how to make visits. The ministry of Justice also gives a subvention to the association even if it is independent.

There are no schools in prisons like in Greece but there are social services such as gym, prayer room … Yet, the inmates can receive an education: the national program is adapted to the prisoners and for the ones under 18 years old attending school is mandatory in the mornings. However, the lessons depend on the size of the prisons. For psychological support, prisoners must see a psychiatrist or a psychologist. If they do go to the appointments, some reduction of the penalty can be considered. But for seeing a visitor from the association there is no ‘reward’; therefore, the interaction between the visitors and inmates is not based on the idea of having the reduction of the sentence. Thus, the visitors are here only to provide social interaction and there are no mandatory appointments – the prisoners choose to see one of the visitors from the association.


·       Project internet portal as a tool for publicity of the project ideas, activities and results.

·       Presentation of the developed project internet portal. Rose, UK.

·       Prepared tools for dissemination the results and products of the Partnership. Mihaela, RO2.

·       Evaluation of the project activities. Evaluation strategy. Angelo, IT.

Excursion in Paris by bus.


Wednesday, 19 March

Second part of the meeting at the conference room at the Pavillon Nation Hotel. Presentation of the French local partner: Université Paris 7 – Diderot and the section of students in prisons.

The professor and pedagogical director of the department Jean-François Cottier, administrative director Nadège Cauchois, English professor and in charge of conferences in women prison of  Fresnes Jean-Luc Deschamps and pedagogical secretary  Nathalie Cuny presented their work with inmates. They offer a unique section in France: they send university teachers in prisons and propose to prisoners to achieve a degree such as Bachelor or MBA or even a PhD with their help. There are 30 teachers in the section.

There are not many courses available sometimes but they also organize lectures for the prisoners every Friday with professional lecturers. They also have a real interaction with the prisoners: this is not a distance training or lectures for the inmates. This is a unique service since the teachers are flexible in their schedules and their courses: they are working according to the prisoners’ interests and needs. This is sometimes the only way for the inmates to achieve a university degree. The education level for the prisoners varies a lot.

One of the important particularities of this service is that there are no fees to pay for the prisoners; they can assist to any class without paying anything. The regional administration pays for them. There is one class for everyone and it lasts 6 hours/day from September to June just like in the university.

The engagement of the university dates back to May 1968, when in France, some students got imprisoned and they wished to keep studying their courses. The teachers are not paid but the image of the university benefits from these actions and as such they receive subventions and aid from the state, the regional administration They teach in cells in prisons but the cells are adopted for such teaching.

There is a new pilot program tested in Fleury-Mérogis for 60 students: they receive each month 200 €/month to follow university courses, they were selected for this program. In the classes, women and men are separated. It is possible for long-term prisoners to use computers in the classroom to write papers. The University even taught some PhD students in prisons: Mathematics and Philosophy.

To conclude, the volunteer teachers are not paid to teach in prisons but the image of the university benefits from this and so they receive subventions or aid from the region to develop more the section.

The international partners and the professors of the Diderot University have discussed the possibility of the eventual future implementation of common projects and cooperation between the university and the partners in separate countries, participating in the project. The partners were interested in French university experience in providing university level courses in prisons and considered the application of such practice in their respective countries. Interested participants exchanged the relevant information and contacts with the French university representatives.


·       Discussing results of testing (or opinions after careful analysis) the teaching and learning tools in each partner country. LT, GR, IT, UK, ES, FR, TR, RO1, RO2. Final decisions for improvement of the tools. All partners prepare their comments and suggestions about created teaching and learning tools.

·       Review of the project "European perspectives on raising social competencies of offenders“- Project coordinator Brone, LT.

·       Planning the meeting in Bucharest on May 05-10, 2014. Lavinia, RO1.

Final photos of the partners.

Discussions, suggestions.

19:00 – Diner.

    Thursday, 20 March

Cultural part of the meeting. Visit of the Versailles Castle.