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In July 2015, the Parent Association started with the implementation of the project “Strong family - support for the future”, which is part of the project “Directing the prison to the community - preventing abuse in prisons through the reform of the rehabilitation and resocialization system”, funded by the European Union Delegation to Montenegro .

The project implemented 3 groups of activities:

  1. Advisory service for families of prisoners,
  2. Creating an information material for prisoners’ parents
  3. Adaptation of space into two prisons cells.

The counseling service started working in July, and the prisoners’ family could contact the service twice a week. Within the counseling service, there were a psychologist, a lawyer and a social worker engaged. During the project, over 20 families, with more than 80 members, asked for counseling support. The Advisory service continued to function after the project was completed on a voluntary basis due to the recognized family needs for this kind of support.

The design of the information material was intended for the inmates who were parents and where they could read about their rights as part of family visits, the importance of visiting and maintaining contact with children in order to reduce family dysfunction resulting from serving a prison sentence.

The biggest part of the information material is dedicated to the ways of communication between parents who are in prison and children and their families. It is described in detail what they can write in letters, how to motivate children to write, how to talk to children and how to properly use family visits.

The information material, together with the flyer, was intended to promote the advisory service. 1000 copies of information material were printed and distributed in the ZIKS and their department in Bijelo Polje.

The information material is available.

The activity was completed in December 2015 by providing the space for family visits that are adapted to children, as well as equipping a story-telling corner. Initially it was planned to equip one room in ZIKS in the section for long sentences, but due to the lack of adequate space and changes to ZIKS’s plans regarding this part of their regular activities, the room in the female part was renovated and equipped, as well as the room for visits to the Remand Prison.

By equipping rooms, children are able to visit their parents in a more pleasant environment in the future, which would reduce the discomfort and allow for closer contact with family members. In the adapted room in the women’s section, there is also a story-telling corner, which is equipped with a camera and various books, and the prisoners are allowed to send videos to children.

  FEMALE PRISON BEFORE ARRANGEMENT

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                                                                                                         FEMALE PRISON AFTER ARRANGEMENT

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The above activities set the foundations for increasing family visits and better contact between prisoners and their children, which brings long-term benefits in terms of rehabilitation and resocialization of prisoners, thus contributing to the reduction of disorders in family relationships.

In order to promote the project, the Association Parents carried out an intensive media promotion and promotion on social networks. Apart from visiting the media and forwarding the announcement at the beginning of the project, as well as video material (statements, etc) which was delivered to most media at the end of the project, the Association took advantage of the opportunity to promote the work of Counseling Service at Parenting Corner in the TV show Boje jutra on TV Vijesti several times.

The Portal http://www.roditelji.me/ provided information on the work of the counseling center during the duration of the project, where every parent who would open any portal page had the opportunity to see this information.