In Algeria, after six years of work, a cooperation programme in the area of justice for reform and modernization of the country's prison system, for which the FIIAPP provided high-level expert consultants, is coming to a close.
In March 2007, one year before this programme began, the incarceration rate in Algeria was 170 people per 100 places. In recent years, the number of inmates in the North African country had grown due to the increase in petty crime and drug trafficking, among other crimes. The high rate of youth unemployment in the North African country was reflected in the average age of the inmates: 80% were between 18 and 40 years of age.
It is in this context that the “Programme supporting reform of the prison system in Algeria 2008-2014”, a cooperation project between the Algerian Ministry of Justice and the Delegation of the European Union, through the Directorate General of the Prison and Social Rehabilitation Administration, has successfully strengthened the infrastructures for receiving the incarcerated population, developed a plan for building 80 new prisons and established a reform and modernization programme inspired by international regulations and standards.
This translates into an improvement in modes of enforcing sentences, detention conditions, mechanisms for social rehabilitation of current and released inmates, optimization of prison staff management (strengthening their competencies), the functioning of prison security, and implementation of modern management tools using information systems.
It also means the creation of an ethical and deontological code aimed at the more than 1,200 healthcare professionals, creation of Orientation and Assessment Services in prisons and the implementation of modern assessment tools for diagnosing recidivism, violent behaviours, dangerousness and psychopathology.
The FIIAPP was an active member of the Consortium in charge of managing the programme. To do this, the Foundation supplied high-level expert consultants in the areas of prison security, employment, treatment and prison psychology, such as team leader Andreu Estela Barnet and two experts on social rehabilitation and training, Mercedes Herrera and Pere-Yves Díaz Barrionuevo, all three residing in Algeria, and other short-term experts.
This programme was financed by the European Union with 17 million euros.