On 11 June 2020, a trilateral knowledge exchange video meeting took place with participants from institutions involved in the implementation of correctional services programs in Latvia, Bulgaria, and Norway. In response to the invitation of Norway as the donor state, representatives from the Latvian Prison Administration, which is simultaneously the programme "Correctional Services" project implementor in Latvia, presented to partners from the Bulgarian General Directorate "Execution services" the progress of the implementation of the project activity "Construction".
A trilateral experience exchange video meeting has been held between Norwegian, Bulgarian and Latvian partners implementing correctional services programmes supported by the Norway Grants.
In Latvia, within the framework of a project supported by the Norway Grants, it is intended to design and build a Training centre and an open prison block of the Prison Administration.
Representatives of the Latvian Prison Administration (LPA) introduced participants of the meeting with the construction phase of the project. It is planned to build similar training centres for the staff of correctional services also in Lithuania and Bulgaria. Such mutual discussion among beneficiary countries of the Norway Grants with similar project objectives facilitates a common understanding of actions to be taken in further implementation of projects.
Having regard that the LPA has gained experience while implementing a similar project in the previous Norway Grants period, where in the territory of Olaine Prison there was built and established a centre for inmates with addiction problems (Addiction Centre), the information provided by the Latvian partner to Bulgarian colleagues proved to be very useful. With the support of the Norway Grants, it is planned to establish a modern training infrastructure for the staff of correctional services. Representatives of the Bulgarian General Directorate "Execution of Sentences" introduced participants with the planned infrastructure building concept, including the development of a Training centre, a new pilot prison and a half-way house. This will allow to ensure the availability of modern infrastructure and introduction of new practices of working with inmates thus facilitating improvement of the Bulgarian system of correctional services.
Participants of the meeting appreciated the possibility to discuss current issues, share experiences, get some insight and discuss the most successful solutions to project implementation challenges.
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