RELEASED PRISONER REINTEGRATION CENTRE
under the auspice of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights
EPANODOS was created to facilitate released prisoners' community integration with social and professional support.
"All prisoners shall benefit from arrangements designed to assist them in returning back to society following their release"
European Prison Rules, Rule 33.3 Rec Recommendation (2006) 2 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
EPANODOS is a non-profit organization of Private Legal Entity supervised by the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.
It is the first and only official body for post-custodial care established in our country. According to its founding act (P.D. 300/2003) its purpose is "the professional support, the preparation, promotion and re-integration of ex-prisoners into society".
To fulfil its purpose, EPANODOS:
- Organises programmes, from within prisons, to prepare inmates for their life into society, for successful re-integration.
- Implements actions for the effective employment and vocational training of prisoners.
- Implements educational and cultural activities designed to reinstate social behavior of inmates into the community life.
- Collaborates with the prisons' social services and provides prisoners with consulting services, particularly in matters involving legal issues and/or pending legal matters they may have, while offering social assistance and support to them and their families.
- Informs prisoners and ex-prisoners of their labour rights, the state financial support benefits, the vocational training and interim programmes, the existing job market supply and demand, always in collaboration with the Employment Agency and other relevant bodies.
- Ensures temporary accommodation and meals for newly released prisoners, covers their immediate needs and supports them in addressing any particular problems they may face.
- Supports ex- prisoners in creating their own businesses.
- Informs and alerts society about the problems faced by people involved with the Criminal Justice system and, in particular, juvenile offenders.
- Supports private and voluntary organisations' activities aiming at reducing the social exclusion of people with a criminal record.
- Collaborates with the Central Scientific Penitentiary Council, the Association for the Protection of Minors, the Social Assistance and Juvenile Probation Officers Officers. It participates in the "Orestes" network of the Central Scientific Council for the Prevention and Confrontation of the Victimisation and the Criminality of Minors. It engages in post-custodial care both at national level and at the European Union level as well as collaborating with other international authorities.
- Submits its annual activity report to the Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights and submits proposals for taking actions and initiatives pertinent to post-custodial care.
- EPANODOS participates in the following European organisations and programmes:
- European Offender Employment Forum
- CEP The European Organization for Probation
- ExoCop Ex-Offender Community of Practice