06.08.2020 04:07

International Conference “Professionalism of Prison and Probation Services Staff in Correctional/Education Work”, 16-17 October 2014print

10.10.2014 19:32

Long-term work with inmates and probation clients has allowed concluding that work efficiency is closely related to knowledge, professionalism and personal suitability of staff to the complicated work, therefore one should address issues related to well-being of the staff.

Studies have shown that such factors as specifics of the work, high staff turnover levels, threats posed by the client, as well as lack of support from the employer and colleagues exposed the staff member to tension which in its turn reduces work efficiency and causes burnout. The key to success is the staff member’s well-being and professional resistance. Working with inmates and probation clients is hard and complicated due to mental and communication characteristics of clients, criminal offences committed and attitude towards public administration. Work efficiency is closely linked to the possibility of new criminal offence recidivism after the client has served the term. Therefore it is important to solve issues related to staff well-being – by improving the staff recruitment process, developing a professional support system, strengthening professional resistance, the microclimate of satisfaction with work and mutual relations. The staff member’s contribution should be noted and appreciated.

Having regard to the abovementioned, Latvia hosted an international conference named “Professionalism of Prison and Probation Services Staff in Correctional/Education Work”, (hereinafter – the Conference) with experts from Norway, UK and Estonia to share their experiences.

The objective of the Conference was to identify and find recommendable solutions to problems faced by specialists at correctional establishments in their daily work upon selecting, training and supporting their staff.

The Conference was opened by the address of Mr Inguss Kalniņš, Deputy State Secretary on Strategies, and Mr Kim Ekhaugen, Director of International Cooperation Department of the Norwegian Correction Service Directorate.

The Conference was scheduled for two days. The topic of Day 1 was professionalism of prison and probation service staff in ensuring correctional work, incl. staff education/training models, performance assessment criteria, staff attitude and ethics, attitude change challenges by providing creative approaches, and maintaining flexibility in correctional work. On this day Conference participants was able to listen to presentations of experts from Latvia, Norway and UK, covering the aforementioned topics. On Day 1 participants was also be able to share their experiences by participating in working groups on the following topics: Professional support system at probation service and prisons; education of probation service and prison staff as a single system; development of probation service and prison HR management (recruitment, assessment etc.); challenges posed by new initiatives (new prison, Addict centre etc.) on staff in daily activities and to guarantee security.

The topic of Day 2 is development of correctional establishments, incl. new challenges of these establishments – new prison, new addict centre which may consequently cause new challenges in daily work. This day of the Conference was started with discussion of the Conference participants on conclusions made by working groups. On this day heads of correctional establishments of Latvia, Estonia and Norway presented development of their establishments in the perspective of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Participants and guests to the Conference finded new ideas and recommendations on making work of correctional establishments more qualitative with a quality recruited, trained and supported staff member.

Presentations of Conference "Proffesionalism of Prison and Probation Staff in Correctional Work":