The paper is a key one in the framework of the project “B-Competent. Boosting Competences in Penitentiary Staff in Europe”. It is focused on the crucial topic of the link between the rehabilitation process of detainees and the prison staff training, in particular for what concerns the specific training essential to the management of foreign inmates.
The in-depth analysis examines the matter in light of the peculiarities of the Italian penitentiary system. After a brief parenthesis about the constitutional norms and the statutes that safeguard the importance of the rehabilitation of prisoners, the document highlights the centrality of re-education as a “method of social reintegration of the offender”. To achieve this purpose, prison staff seems to perform a relevant role, together with other institutional actors (for example, judges), who are required to follow not only the national rules but also the supranational ones, such as the European prison rules and the Nelson Mandela Rules.
Zooming in to the significant presence of foreign inmates inside the Italian penitentiaries, the everyday practice reveals its limits in the circumstance that there is not a specific staff assigned to foreign detainees, who often are in situations of isolation, especially due to communication difficulties. In fact, what emerges from the observation of reality is the gap between what is stated on paper and what happens in practice. This chasm can be filled starting from a reform in the selection of the staff up to training on a continuous basis with the aim of assuring the social reintegration of the offenders with long-term positive results, at the same time favoring the awareness of inmates’ responsibilities.
The Author: Antonella Croce, PhD at University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli" - Law Department