Activities, products and results
The duration of the project ECOR – European Communities of Restoration – was two years, from April 2014 until March 2016. All the project activities were largely interlinked, operating concurrently to achieve a number of individual, but interconnected, outcomes.
The project ECOR firstly produced a detailed groundwork paper, outlining the ‘state of the art’ in Europe in terms of alternatives to imprisonment. It explored the work of the Council of Europe and the current situation across EU member states, including legal frameworks, practical conditions, and current activities. It also outlined the great depth the APAC methodology (Association for the Protection and the Assistance of the Convicted) and its adaptability within European member states. This served as a practical groundwork for the development and implementation of ECOR project objectives. The results were disseminated widely throughout the judicial community in Europe, justice ministries and other key stakeholders.
ECOR Groundwork Report final
European Communities of Restoration: 5 new sites
The second main result were five new sites – European Communities of Restoration – (we have named the entire project the same) where the APAC methodology was implemented. These sites cover two prison wings and three post-release reintegration centres (halfway houses). The implementation of the APAC methodology at these five sites has direct positive impact on the respective participants, but also on the staff working at these sites.
Piloting report and recommendations
The implementation of these five sites were evaluated and monitored throughout, resulting in a solid documentation of the development and implementation of European Communities of Restoration, which served as a comprehensive reference tool on the methodology in Europe, and how it can be implemented further.
In parallel to this, a video documentary of the ECOR sites was filmed, following the development and implementation of the sites. This was used to present the concept to wider audiences, seeking to gain positive approval for the methodology as an effective approach to offender rehabilitation and a credible alternative to traditional imprisonment.
A training and development programme was compiled to train people on the basic foundations of European Communities of Restoration, and showed them how to set-up and manage the methodology.
Complimenting this training, the project produced a comprehensive manual, based on an adapted version of the groundwork paper, to set out the process of setting-up and managing a European Community of Restoration, and implementing the APAC methodology.
At the project completion stage, a European conference presented the project to a wider audience of stakeholders, inviting key-note speakers from across the European judicial community to debate the issues raised by the project and to discuss the implementation of the project outputs on a wider scale.