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Prison Services

Inadequate infrastructure, increasing prison populations, harsher sentencing measures, privatisation, the increasing criminalisation of wider sections of the population, the restructuring of economies are just some of the contributors to a crisis in working conditions and prison service provision. Since 2005 EPSU has been bringing together affiliates that organise in the prison service to discuss these issues and exchange information as well as co-ordinate campaigning to highlight the extent of prison overcrowding across Europe. This section includes reports of prison service network meetings, a range of material from the 2008 day of action on prison overcrowding and other information on working conditions and prison policy.


Prison network meeting (2 days)

Invitation EPSU Prison Services Network Meeting 25-26 September 2013 Hotel International Bucuresti, Bucharest, Romania Dear Colleagues, We are pleased to invite you to the next meeting of the EPSU prison services network hosted by our Romanian affiliate SNLP. It will start on Wednesday 25 September at 09h00 and end on Thursday 26 September no later than 15h30, including a visit of a prison in the vicinity of Bucharest. The agenda will be sent nearer the date of the meeting and (...)

Effects of austerity on prisons - EPSU statement

(2 May 2012) Meeting in Oslo on 12-13 April last, the EPSU prison services network agreed common demands to EU-EEA Justice Ministers, please see full text of the statement entitled ’Better Prisons for Staff, Prisoners and Society. Effects of austerity on prisons are like salt on an open wound …’ EPSU statement Prisons 120425 - EN EPSU statement Prisons 120425 - FR EPSU statement Prisons 120425 - ES Remerciements de la (...)

EPSU supports prison officers on hunger strike in Greece

(11 April 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a warm message of solidarity to the 11 members of the Executive of the Federation of Correctional Personnel Unions in Greece , OSYE, (member of ADEDY confederation) who have started a hunger strike last Saturday 7 April until Friday 13th. This is the first time that the union resorts to a hunger strike. It is a protest at the dire overpopulation in all correctional facilities in Greece, the chronic (...)

EPSU response to the European Commission’s Green Paper relating to prison detention conditions - December 2011

There is no doubt that improving detention conditions in many of Europe’s prisons is an absolute priority. EPSU argues that central to this objective is the need to improve working conditions of staff and involve trade unions in reforms. A sufficient number of staff with a good balance between prison officers, medical, probation, educational and administrative staff is also a prerequisite to the sound rehabilitation of prison inmates. The Council of Europe’s prison rules that take (...)

European Court of Human Rights condemns Ukraine for improper detention conditions

European Court Of Human Rights Obliges Ukraine To Pay EUR 6,000 To Ukrainian For Improper Conditions Of Confinement (Ukrainian News, Valeria Selezniova, 01/16/2012) The European Court of Human Rights obliges Ukraine to pay EUR 6,000 of compensation to a Ukrainian, Serhii Ustiantsev, 40, for moral damage due to improper conditions of confinement, Court’s press service has said. Respective ruling was passed at its hearing on January 12. According to the report, Ustiantsev was judges for (...)

Greek union (OSYE) calls for strike actions in prisons

(October 2011) The Greek Union of Prison Officers (OSYE) has decided to go on strike in protest against the bad state in which Greek prisons are. As we emphatically stated at the European Prison Service Conference in Athens in May 2011, and as you have perceived by visiting the Detention Premises in Korydallos, all working branches and specialties in prisons – especially first-line, uniformed prison staff – are thoroughly understaffed. In many cases, the statutory posts for prison staff (...)

EPSU seeks changes to the Council of Europe’s draft prison staff Code of ethics and warns against the effects of austerity measures on prisons

(18 October 2011, press communication) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), representing a majority of unionised prison staff in Europe, seeks changes to the Council of Europe’s draft Code of ethics for prison staff. More than 300.000 men and women work in prisons in Europe. They carry out a demanding dangerous job in a context of an ever-increasing prison population. The ongoing austerity measures mean fewer resources for prison and probation services as well as (...)

European Consultations on prison matters - drafting group 15 December 2011, Brussels

As part of the follow-ups to the EPSU/OSYE conference in Athens last May, please see below an information note on the following documents that are now available for our comments : 1. Council of Europe’s draft European Code of ethics for prison staff, below –deadline for comments is 30.09.2011 2. European Commission’s Green Paper relating to detention conditions, deadline for comments is 30.11.2011, pls see here I will be grateful for your views via return email. A (small) drafting group, (...)

European trade unions say: Fewer prisoners - Better prisons!

(Athens, 12 May 2011) Ahead of the largest gathering of European trade unions organising prison staff in Athens on 12 May, a European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)-led delegation visited Korydallos prison, one of the biggest prisons in Greece. The delegation from 17 European countries was appalled by the dreadful detention conditions and the implications for staff. Prison overcrowding and lack of staff jeopardise the health and safety of staff and inmates alike and prevent (...)

Trade unions working for better prison services conference, 12 May 2011, Athens

(Press notice 10 May 2011) 140 trade union delegates organising prison staff from 17 European countries are expected at an EPSU-OSYE conference Trade unions working for better prison services in Athens on 12 May 2011. A press conference will be held on 13 May from 10 till 12h00. The conference will be the largest gathering of delegates representing prison guards, probation, health and educational staff working in prisons in Europe since the EPSU action day against prison overcrowding (...)

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