The activities of the CCJ4C project – “European guidelines for professional counseling for staff working in the penitentiary system” continue through the organization of focus groups with prison staff. 

The third meeting, called by the project “stakeholder checkpoint” took place on July 27th and was aimed at continuing the reflection started in the previous months with the local network made up of professional figures from the reference sector who are following us in this project path. 

Specifically, through the testimonies of various representatives, including the trade unionists of the UIL Penitentiary Police from different regions, police officers, and other figures with expertise in adult education, an interesting debate was conducted that allowed us to deepen the needs of the professional categories that operate in penitentiary institutions, in order to develop a training tool that aims to improve the professional path as well as the management of critical issues that incur in a complex working environment such as penitentiaries. 

The focus group was conducted following specific methodologies with the support of a moderator who is an expert in corporate welfare, useful for identifying the key factors that influence the working environment (PESTLE methodology), determining on the one hand the critical issues and on the other hand trying to imagine how they could be overcome. The second part of the focus group, instead, was structured on the discussion of possible scenarios created by the encounter of two significant variables (of the factors identified) such as the attention to the necessary skills and the political regulations inherent in the prison system. From the discussion, thanks to the experiences of the participants, several insights emerged that allowed us to provide more details to the national report that will be presented to the project partners. 

In the coming months further meetings will be held to give continuity to the path started, to better understand the needs that characterize the professionals of the penitentiary sector and to develop through the project a course useful for the management of their professional career. 

For further information on the project, you can consult the project website