Employment retainment after Prison – Difficulties and Solutions José Santos July 15, 2022

Employment retainment after Prison – Difficulties and Solutions

Representatives from prison institutions, industry, and professional development experts gathered to align their strategy going forward on a transnational project supporting (ex)-inmates’ employability and reintegration.

When released, most prisoners desire to find and retain a legitimate, stable, long-term employment opportunity since they need a job after incarceration. However, after being released from jail, most ex-offenders have trouble finding or retaining employment, especially one that offers both stability and good salaries.

Education can work as a gateway to achieving social and economic mobility. However, the prison population is known for having lower formal education than the general adult population.

Education and employment play a particularly important role in inmates’ social reintegration process. The lack of education and prevailing low levels of training makes the social re-adaptation process more challenging and can significantly impact recidivism rates. Acquired credentials and professional expertise increase the inmates’ economic independence while reducing their chance of unemployment.

Many European nations’ penal policies and regulations underscore the importance of prison employment and education for prisoners, as that help enhance inmates’ moral views, ability to reintegrate into society successfully, and sense of self-respect.

Education programmes in prison differ according to country and jurisdiction; yet, almost all European nations currently offer education in at least some of their prisons.

The STEP2LAB project contribution

The STEP2LAB project promotes the professional development of inmates by building their competencies through prison work. This work can be developed in cooperation with prison administrations or specific private industries.

While promoting these programmes next to prison services and private industries in need of human resources, STEP2LAB aims to develop a framework allowing these institutions to independently create effective and collaborative itineraries of socio-labour integration for inmates.

The project seeks to target a younger audience, capacitating and motivating lighter sentences or end-of-sentence individuals to pursue a professional career and follow a sustainable living project. On a first approach, STEP2LAB will reach almost 100inmates and prepare more than 70 trainers actively working in the field throughout six European countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Romania and Germany).

Projected partners gathered to discuss the guidance training and induction for inmates.
On July 14th and 15th of 2022, the STEP2LAB consortium joined to conduct a face-to-face meeting in Marinha Grande (Portugal), organised by CENTIMFE, one of the Portuguese project partners on the industry side of the initiative.

The partnership also had the privilege to take a guided tour of the organisation’s headquarters, learning more about what they do and how they contribute, for example, to the moulding industry.

Know more about this project


Systematic Transition from Prison into the Labour Market

STEP2LAB is led by the Portuguese project’s coordinator CENTIMFE (Technological Center for Molds, Special Tools and Plastics Industry).
The remaining consortium members of the STEP2LAB project are IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal), Mioveni Penitentiary (Romania), Greta du Velay (Velay Region Educational Institutions Group) (France), IRFIP (Religious Institute of Vocational Education and Training – Romania), CIRE (Center for Reintegration Initiatives – Catalonia, Spain), and KIMW-Q (Non-profit KIMW Qualification Association – Germany).

For more information on the STEP2LAB project, please visit its page.

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