Update from the EPEA

Nina Champion, Head of Policy at PET provides an update on her work as part of the European Prison Education Association;

I am enjoying my first few months as Western European Representative for the European Prison Education Association (EPEA) including the challenge of trying to get the technology to work to have online steering group meetings including up to ten different countries at once!

If you are not already a member, please do become one by filling in the online form here.

At the moment we are working on:

  • Developing a membership welcome pack and a member communication plan
  • Learners at HMP Barlinnie in Scotland have produced a Spring edition of the EPEA magazine which will be available to members shortly.
  • Running webinars about accessing European Funding through Erasmus +.
  • Consulting with members about setting up a trading arm of the EPEA so we can employ a paid staff member to manage and co-ordinate European projects.
  • Making plans for a series of events for International Day of Prison Education (13th October)
  • Agreeing a tender document to invite countries to host the bi-annual EPEA conference in 2017.
  • Liaising with the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) – see more below.

It was announced last year that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) that they will be examining the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in ten countries in 2016 including the United Kingdom. Others include Azerbaijan, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Russian Federation and Spain.

The CPT have asked for information concerning deprivation of liberty in any of these countries which they believe could assist them in their visits. I have therefore written a short report relating to the Council of Europe recommendations about prison education, available here. The Chair of the EPEA is meeting the CPT at the Council of Europe this week to present the report which relates to England and Wales.

I do hope you become a member of the EPEA and if you have any questions about this work please do not hesitate to contact me: nina@prisonerseducation.org.uk