The Minister for Justice, Rights and Memory, Gemma Ubasart i González, visited Bologna and Rome on the first institutional trip related to the 40th anniversary of the assumption of powers in the criminal justice system. The Catalan Government’s Secretary for Penal Measures, Reinsertion and Victim Services, Amand Calderó, accompanied the Minister in the institutional retinue together with the Catalan Government delegate in Italy, Luca Bellizzi.
The objective of the trip focused on learning about good practices in both regional and local government, as well as the role of civil society in accompanying the reintegration of prisoners. Although in the Italian case authority over prisons lies with the State, sub-state governments and entities have a fundamental role in reintegration processes.
Minister Ubasart and Secretary Calderó also presented the bases of the Catalan criminal justice model, which is a European benchmark with three fundamental characteristics: a high presence of activities, treatment, training and work in prisons; a commitment to open criminal enforcement, and care in prisoners’ transition from the institution to society. In short: an approach to reintegration through a plan of training activities and individualised personal work for prisoners. One indicator of the model’s success is that the prison recidivism rate dropped nine points between 2014 and 2020, from 30.2% to 21.2%, a cumulative decrease of 19.2 points since 2008, when it was 40.3%.
“The outcomes from the contacts we have had during this institutional visit is very positive. The different meetings and encounters have allowed us to learn about the collaboration mechanisms between public administrations at different territorial levels and civil society in order to promote social reintegration processes. We leave having learned about experiences that can help us to improve our model,” concluded Ubasart.