1 8   JUSTICE TRENDS //  J U N E / J U N I O 2 0 1 7 J U N E / J U N I O 2017 JUSTICE TRENDS //  1 9 EUROPE / EUROPA JT: EuroPris involves a very big diversity of countries with different economic performances, different perspectives and maturitylevelsoftheirprisonsystems...YouhaveBrexitnowadays... What are the main challenges that prison systems are presently facing, in Europe? HM: The fact that the United Kingdom may leave the EU will not have a big impact. As you know, the UK was out of the European Justice programme already. It is important to say that we wanted to treat everybody on the same level, be it a small country or a big country. Any country has the equal possibility to become a EuroPris member, as long as they belong to the EU or related states like Norway. We decided that every jurisdiction should contribute with a few thousand of Euros... the big ones paying €7.500 and the smaller paying €3.000 a year. In that way, we made it accessible to everybody. Also important is that we provide an immediate return on investment. Whenever we organize conferences, EuroPris pays for its members’flights and accommodation, so that they can easily have access to them. Besides the accessibility – which was one of our main concerns – we needed a very good website. We were congratulated by the European Commission on the EuroPris website. It is much more than a website. It is a document and knowledge sharing system where you can find very interesting information on different issues. We created a truly European Union Prison Information System, where you can easily access numbers from other countries, and get information about prisons in other countries. We work in an environment where the execution of sentences is becoming much closer. Everybody is talking about European standard rules, United Nations’standard rules, Mandela’s rules, and how to execute them in daily life. We exchange our information on an open platform, so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel again, and again and again. We simply exchange information without any limits from one country to another (this includes information on what works and does not work, tender documents and requirements, etc). We also have a process to deal with confidential information that cannot be shared openly like measures against radicalisation or terrorism, is an example. JT: How would you see EuroPris evolving as an organization? HM:Currentlywecount30membersandwearebecomingmoreand more professional. We will become, a network–related organization that works based on common themes. We have 7 to 8 big themes that are really important to our business and have expert groups that meet once or twice a year to discussed these and share their knowledge. Our knowledge management and information system will become more and more important – you can put a question online and within a few days you have 10 to 12 countries answering it. It is all about knowledge sharing and knowledge creation. Traditionallyitwasallaboutthepolice,itwasallaboutthemagistrates... With the creation of EuroPris we became – at higher–level in Europe but also at national and regional levels – a respected partner that contributes and is listened. A partner that that is not waiting to execute but that interacts and influences policy. JT: EuroPris implica una gran diversidad de países con diferentes niveles de desempeño económico, diferentes perspectivas y niveles de madurez de sus sistemas carcelarios... Y hoy en día, está el tema del Brexit... ¿Cuáles son los principales retos a los que se enfrentan los sistemas penitenciarios en Europa? HM: El hecho de que el Reino Unido pueda dejar la Unión Europea no tendrá un grande impacto para nosotros. Como saben, El Reino Unido ya estaba fuera del programa de justicia. Es importante decir que queríamos tratar a todos en el mismo nivel, ya se trate de un país pequeño o de un país grande. Cualquier país tiene la misma posibilidad de hacerse miembro de EuroPris, siempre y cuando pertenezcan a la UE o a Estados relacionados como Noruega. Decidimos que cada jurisdicción debería aportar unos cuantos miles de euros... los grandes pagan €7500, y los más pequeños pagan €3000, por lo que se hizo accesible a todo el mundo. La segunda cosa es que hemos hecho es proporcionar un retorno inmediato de la inversión. JT: What were the main challenges that you had to overcome during the lifetime of EuroPris so far? HM: First, we had to form a basic structure and needed some funding for it... We were able to get the basic funding from the European Commission. The EC saw immediately the advantage of such an organization. There was, of course, a lot of involvement from us, personally, as we dedicated much of our spare time to it, in the first stage, but also providing some in-kind contribution. People from 5–6 administrations came together and succeed to reach a good structure, the statuses, etc. The first 2 years were a struggle to create what we call the formal environment of EuroPris. We didn’t want to lose too much time to proof our added value, so we immediately focused on two or three main goals that were of utmost importance and also urgent in our view. One of these was the huge presence of non–nationals from different EU countries in our prisons. The European Commission supported it from the beginning as it working at the time on a green paper around the framework decisions: how to recognize the sentences and transfer inmates from one jurisdiction to another – to serve sentence in their own country. After that we started to work around other topics. Prison regime, housing and logistics, how to build new prisons were the main goals. Afterwards, other themes came, such as the use of technology in prisons or radicalisation (a current concern). But in the beginning, it was all about our core business. EUROPE / EUROPA JT: ¿Cuáles fueron los principales retos que usted tuvo que superardesde el momento en que nació EuroPris hasta ahora? HM: Primero teníamos que estar seguros de que formábamos una estructura básica, por lo tanto, necesitábamos algún financiamiento... Pudimos obtener la financiación de la Comisión Europea. La CE vio de inmediato la ventaja de esta organización. Hubo mucha participación nuestra, de los directores generales, personalmente, ya que le hemos dedicado mucho de nuestro tiempo libre, en la primera etapa, pero también con algunas contribuciones en capacidad técnica de nuestras instituciones. Personas de 5 o 6 administraciones que se unirán y tuvieran éxito en alcanzar una buena estructura, los estatutos, etc. Los primeros 2 años fueron una lucha para crear lo que llamamos el ambiente formal de EuroPris. No queríamos perder demasiado tiempo para enseñar directamente nuestro valor añadido, así que lo que hicimos fue centrarnos en dos o tres objetivos principales que eran de suma importancia y urgencia en nuestra opinión. Uno de esas principales preocupaciones fue la enorme presencia de no nacionales provenientes de diferentes países de la UE en nuestras cárceles. Esto fue sostenido y muy apoyado por la Comisión Europea en un momento en que en Europa se trabajaba en el “libro verde” sobre las decisiones marco: ¿cómo recocer las sentencias entre estados y trasladar los detenidos de una jurisdicción a otra en un continente como Europa? Empezamos a trabajar en torno a nuestro sector, es decir, los regímenes, las infraestructuras y la logística, la forma de construir nuevas prisiones fueron los principales objetivos. Después, surgieron otros temas, como la tecnología. Hoy tenemos el tema de la radicalización, pero al principio de eso se trataba nuestro negocio principal. From left to right: Daria Nashat, Executive Director of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, Hans Meurisse, President of the European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris), Vĕra Jourová, and Marc Cerón, President of the Confederation of European Probation De izquierda a derecha: Daria Nashat, Director Ejecutivo del Foro Europeo de Justicia Restaurativa, Hans Meurisse, Presidente de la Organización Europea de Prisiones y Servicios Correccionales (EuroPris), Vĕra Jourová, y Marc Cerón, Presidente de la Confederación Europea de Libertad Condicional CEP)