Latin America / Penitentiary systems

Launch of a Network of Prison Academies between the European Union and Latin America

27 November 2020
Herramienta de intercambio de información

One of the objectives of EL PAcCTO in the area of prisons has been to assist and carry out in-depth consultancy work to combat organised transnational crime in Latin American countries, promote improvement in prison careers and professionalise prison staff through the creation or strengthening of schools or training centres with the best European experiences.

A virtual activity was carried out by the programme to share best practices in the organisation of prison schools and the implementation of specialised education and training programmes, in order to promote regional cooperation between schools in Latin American countries and create a network that in the long term can exchange information with European academies.

At the inauguration, EL PAcCTO’s lead partner in the European Union’s DEVCO, Vania Bonalberti, recognised that the initiative “perfectly embodies the spirit of Team Europe, or in other words, the momentum coming from Brussels to create synergies and coordination among EU and Member State actions in their interventions in the world”. Likewise, she stressed that “for the European Union the fight against transnational organised crime is a battle which must be transnational and fought jointly to be effective, and the EL PAcCTO programme aims to strengthen our cooperation in different areas of action”.

A tool for the professionalisation of prison staff

During the meeting, the bases were laid on which to structure a tool for cooperation between prison schools of both regions and, above all, to enable exchanges with representatives of prison services and academies from Latin American countries.

The information exchange platform created by EL PAcCTO was presented, on which work will be carried out directly from Office 365 through TEAMS. It has its own domain and creates its own safe work environment. On 1 December and then for six months, it will serve as a test for networks such as ELIPSIA and the AIAMP international cooperation network and, in a second period, it is expected that the Network of Prison Academies and the rest of the networks promoted by the Programme will join.

As a result of the virtual meeting, it is expected that the participating countries will adhere to the draft constitution of the Network of Prison Academies of Latin America and the European Union, as well as the collection of inputs and the structuring of a working group for the development and activation of a virtual training platform.

 

Three years working hand in hand with Latin America

In these years of implementation, EL PAcCTO has carried out consultancies in various lines of intervention to contribute to prison management that can provide specific treatment for members of Transnational Organised Crime (TOC). However, there is a specific line of work, the training and qualification of prison staff through the structuring of prison careers, that manages to keep up with the evolution of the TOC and that must be emphasised and made to achieve the desired objectives with Latin America.

Eleven countries of the Latin American region have participated in the activity: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, and on the European side Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.