Report for the first Transnational meeting of the project ‘STEPs: Supporting Ties in the Education of Prisoners’

EU program: Erasmus+ KA2 Innovation in adult education

Dates: 14-16th of December, 2018

Hosting organization: EEPEK

Location: Greece, Larissa

The first three-day transnational meeting of the partners of the Erasmus+ Program entitled “Supporting Ties in the Education of Prisoners (STEPs)” was successfully completed. The consortium consists of the Greek NGO EEPEK as the coordinator, and the partners, the Greek ‘2nd Second Chance School of Larissa’, the Cypriot NGO ‘C.I.P. Citizens in Power’, the Portuguese NGO ‘Kerigma’, and the Italian school CPIA 1. The five organizations share a common vision which is to strengthen the links in prison education with the help of virtual rooms.

Specifically the “STEPs” project aims to give opportunities to prisoners, to free them from ignorance, social awkwardness and “disability” and to offer them support and restorative experience to escape from the vicious circle of marginalization, crime and unemployment. The way to break this cycle is to foster confidence, to live by using legal means and to avoid the recurrence, so as to choose education and training before their release and through this facilitate job finding and avoid marginalization, unemployment and eventual criminality.

The most innovative output of the project will be the creation of a dynamic Virtual Reality system (VR), consisting of rooms, narrative stories, videos, photographs and newspaper articles. In these virtual rooms, the prisoner will see a number of items that are (somehow) related to his/her profile and story. Then with the support of the educators, the prisoners are expected to freed from negative emotions, such as anger, aggression, rejection, disappointment. This will support their smooth reintegration into the society after their release.

During the first Transnational Meeting, we got to know each other better, and we have divided the tasks of the project with the partners. Additionally, we had the chance to try different VR environments and visit the 2nd Second Chance School of Larissa’ which is located inside the prison of Larissa. Lastly, we have agreed on our visual identity (logo).

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