EPANODOS offers its services to released prisoners at its offices, located at No. 28-30 Derigny Street, Victoria (tel. 210-8815904 and 210-8815032).
Particularly, its qualified personnel offers psychosocial support, legal counselling, and employment issues consultation to all visitors. Furthermore, EPANODOS offers assistance during the first days of release (short-length stay in assigned hotels, coupons for restaurant, transportation tickets and phone cards).
In the same context, it seeks (through mediation or referral to competent bodies) to find employment and housing for ex-prisoners, with priority registration of their children in schools, as well as investment funds for their self-employment etc.
Visitors are welcomed and provided with introductory information about the available state financial benefits and health cards of uninsured parties. In addition, a record is created with the individual's background history and needs. Then, visitors are referred either to other departments of the organisation or to a counsellor, according to their specific needs or, to public bodies, NPOs or other organisations that may provide the specialised help needed not available in EPANODOS.
It is the backbone of all support provided. . It empowers and aims at getting the individual's active engagement to successfully implement all actions needed to meet his/her personal goals. Furthermore, it includes counselling relevant to the individual's relationships with his/her close family.
EPANODOS' counsellors often contact some of the ex-prisoners' relatives and friends, either in person or by telephone. This communication is realized either in the presence of the ex-prisoners or in their knowledge to avoid disrupting their trust with them.
In many case the , psychological support of friends and family has a positive impact on the ex-prisoners' behavior. This is achieved in accordance to the key principles and guidelines of EPANODOS' scientific personnel in terms of psychosocial counselling.
LEGAL SUPPORT COUNSELLING
The Legal Department of EPANODOS systematically addresses legal issues concerning released prisoners, firstly, on a consultation basis, in the sense that visitors are provided with explanations on legal issues they do not adequately comprehend, as well as guidelines for their further actions. In cases of indigent ex-prisoners that need legal support - following the necessary collection of the required documentation in cooperation with the social worker, EPANODOS submits a request for free legal support to the closest Bar Association. It then contacts the lawyer handing the case, to get feedback on its progress.
The Legal counselling and support provided to every released prisoners who asks for it from EPANODOS is subject to (OR Released prisoners who address EPANODOS for legal counseling and support are entitled of the) the confidentiality code of conduct. At the same time, the organisation does not only provide advice and general counselling on the personal rights and obligations , but it also aims at their personal motivation and active involvement for community re-integration and rehabilitation, along with psychosocial support.
The employment-search consultation aims at strengthening self-actualisation and , and subsequently the active involvement of ex- prisoners, to understand their capabilities and form a personal goal action plan for community rehabilitation meeting the requirements of a constantly changing socio-financial environment. To this end, counsellors aim at achieving:
- Improved educational level,
- Better advise in terms of allowances and benefits,
- Understanding of the social environment and the labour market,
- Networking with other agencies,
- Representation to provide better access to social goods and services.
Furthermore, EPANODOS aims at formulating an employment consciousness of ex-prisoners, which consists of developing a set of behaviours and attitudes such as dealing with employment stress, meeting deadlines, punctuality and team working skills.
Personal counselling interviews aim at: a) advising ex-prisones regarding the labour market, b) basic training on employment skills, and c) searching for employment through the state body of Employment (OAED).
Moreover, in the context of employment counselling, the following are implemented at EPANODOS:
- Networking with the labour market,
- Job-club set-up. An area where a p.c., telephone and newspapers with job ads, are available to ex-prisoners with the support of counsellors.
- Vocational training workshops. Workshops on job-finding techniques, on legal and specialised labour rights, etc. are organised, supervised by specialised staff.
The material benefits of EPANODOS, and monetary benefits in particular, are limited. Neither is the philosophy nor the role of the body to provide financial support. EPANODOS aims at the re-integration of released prisoners by activating and motivating them. The released prisoners should do the rest. Such actions boost their confidence and allow their community integration. Furthermore, as part of the counseling process, released prisoners are provided with optional temporary (for 10 days) accommodation in specific hotels, as well as the option of free restaurant meals. Moreover, phone cards and tickets are provided for free (where appropriate) to released prisoners, in order to facilitate contact with their family and friends and ease their transportation during the initial time period after their release.
During this phrase , ex-prisoners are encouraged by our organisation, through psycho-social support, as mentioned before, and are (although minimum) financial support, such as tickets, phone cards and hotel accommodation for a few days. This is only because of limited available resources at the organisation's disposal.