PRI’s Executive Director, Alison Hannah, reports from Kazakhstan where PRI brought together a forum of policy-makers, national and international experts to support local authorities deliver effective reintegration services for ex-prisoners.
The government of Kazakhstan handed over responsibility for the reintegration of ex-prisoners to local authorities a couple of years ago. However, many authorities have experienced difficulties in implementing effective services. Problems include finding employment and housing for ex-prisoners, getting the registration documents to enable people to access benefits and providing the necessary psychological and social support to complement reintegration activities. While authorities have set up rehabilitation centres, there is a wide range of models and some work better than others.
PRI Central Asia has therefore used a grant from the Norwegian government to organise a national forum to bring together national and international experts to help local authorities to move forward on this issue. The specific objectives of this forum were to negotiate a national development plan; end long-term unemployment of ex-prisoners; develop solutions to housing and accommodation issues and introduce national employment and training measures.
With about 80 participants,yesterday’s event was attended by local authorities (municipalities), representatives from the government and Parliament of Kazakhstan, national and international experts. International contributions were made by Suzanne Five, a senior adviser to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice, who demonstrated how in Norway reintegration is delivered through a number of different government departments (health, education and justice…) and Martin Seddon from the Council of Europe on the broader European experience, amongst others.
The proceedings are available on ustream:http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/26960713.
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