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PERU to evaluate the RESCALED project - promoting Detention Houses

Monday 23 September 2019

Over the next three years PERU will evaluate the implementation and impact of the RESCALED programme.

RESCALED is a prison reform movement advocating for small scale detention that aims at fundamentally and sustainably reforming the prison system, so that restoration becomes valued over punishment. The RESCALED programme will work in five European countries to promote the use of smaller prison facilities located in the heart of the city where community integration is the norm. The detention house model was pioneered in Belgium based on three main principles.

  • Small scale enables tailor-made reintegration pathways, allows for a more personal approach, less bureaucracy, better dynamic security and provides more opportunities for prisoners to take responsibility and to interact with the community.
  • Differentiation means that prisoners are placed in the right security level and offered the most suitable programs. This has proven to work best in terms of facilitating their reintegration and rehabilitation and to be cost effective.
  • Community integration implies a two-way interaction between the detention house and the community: prisoners can make use of the services in society and each detention house has an added value for the local neighbourhood.

PERU's evaluation will concentrate on the ability of RESCALED to infuence penal policy. The evaluation design will draw on some of the lessons on effective knowledge mobilisation that were described in a recent publication that PERU contributed to.

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