The WayOut project – Integrated Exit Programme for Prisons and Probation – gets the support of the DG HOME of the European Commission.
The WayOut project aims to improve and facilitate the implementation of Exit Programmes by building a common framework to evaluate these programmes and by creating an innovative and integrated programme based on approaches with proven effectiveness.
The project is expected to increase the awareness and understanding about Exit programmes among judicial, prison and probation professionals, and community organisations staff (including religious organisations) working closely with the prison services; to improve the existing knowledge about the efficacy of exit programmes and ‘what works’ in this field based on the development of an evaluation framework and the peer review of existing interventions; to improve prison staff capacity to deal with detainees at risk of radicalisation or already radicalised by receiving training and by developing an integrated exit approach (the provision of prison and probation systems with the tools that allow them to analyse the existing networks, information gathering and communication processes between different agencies: prison-probation-police-intelligence services community services).
At the European level, in the long-term, the project will contribute to a better understanding of what works in the field of Exit strategies, due to the development of a methodological framework capable of evaluating the effectiveness of different initiatives and comparing them with each other, facilitating an informed choice and avoiding the waste of resources in strategies that, in addition to not meeting the proposed objectives, can be counterproductive.
The lessons learned from the project will feed into the European debate and inform policymakers. Consequently, this type of programme is expected to gain the confidence of judges, prosecutors and all those responsible for adopting these strategies, as well as the community at large.
The project, funded by DG HOME (Call: ISFP-2017-AG-RAD – Call for projects on preventing and countering violent radicalisation – ISFP-AG – ISF-Police Action Grant) with an overall estimated cost of 697.000,00 euros, responds to one of the European Union’s security concerns – the problem of radicalisation leading to violent extremism – and is fully aligned with one of the priorities defined in this call for proposals: developing targeted exit programmes enabling radicalised individuals to deradicalise and disengage and rehabilitate based on an integrated multi-agency approach.
Partners in the WayOut project include:
- Université de Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France
- IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Qualify Just), Portugal
- BSAFE LAB of UBI University, Portugal
- AVANS University of Applied Sciences – Centre of Expertise for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, The Netherlands
- De Federale Overheidsdienst Justitie – Le Service Public Federal Justice, Belgium
- Bremen Senate of Justice and Constitution, Germany
- Violence Prevention Network EV, Germany
Associated partners supporting the dissemination of the project’s results include EuroPris (European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services) and CEP (Confederation of European Probation).