Conditional Release

PrisonLife_Podcast4_pictConditional release, a legal mechanism allowing an individual to be released from prison before the completion of their sentence, is the topic of our fourth podcast.

To qualify for conditional release, among other things, the convicted person must demonstrate motivation for change and good behavior.

Most convicted individuals are motivated to participate in treatment involving various specialized programs, work engagement, education, and artistic sections, emphasized Dragana Nedeljković, a special educator in the treatment service at the Sremska Mitrovica Correctional Institution. Resistance in work is not resistance to treatment but resistance to the uncertainty of change.

Nataša Novaković, Head of the Human Rights and Criminal Justice System Unit at the OSCE Mission to Serbia, advocates for the positive effects of conditional release and the need to reintroduce it as a measure of motivation for convicts. The success of conditional release is inseparably linked to the post-penal acceptance of convicts, i.e., better contact with the local community, which is facilitated by both governmental and non-governmental organizations.

While there is an effort to establish dialogue among different institutions, there is also a tightening of penal policy – life imprisonment has been introduced, special rules for determining the length of imprisonment for repeat offenders, and a reduced number of approved conditional releases by the court, as noted Dr Ivana Stevanović and Dr Nikola Vujičić from the Institute of Criminological and Sociological Research.

 PrisonLIFE – Podcast – fourth podcast

Greening Prison Communities

IPrisonLife_Podcast3_pictn the third episode, we discussed the project of greening prison communities, a topic explored by the authors from the Institute for Criminological and Sociological Research in their monograph ‘Encounter of Social and Biological: Greening Prison Communities’.

Dr Olivera Pavićević reflected on the leitmotif of the entire theme by asking how to transition from a bare existence to a life worth living. The question was raised on how to enable the convicted person to see their life not as mere survival and adaptation from one worse cycle to another but to return a higher value to life, which could be provided through a different interaction with living beings, among other things, by greening.

Dr. Ljeposava Ilijić elaborated on what green programs mean in prisons and criminology, emphasizing the contrast between former prison architecture and modern innovations. Green programs include different architecture, greening, horticulture, animal-assisted programs, and beekeeping… thus embodying a message that promotes responsibility for living beings, cooperativeness, a sense of usefulness and ability, and restoring trust to both the convicted persons and the community.

Dr Ana Batrićević shared her experience in field visits to prisons in Serbia, whose contrast of greyness and greenery aims to restore hope to those who reside there and those who work there. In addition to sharing some personal experiences that convicted individuals have shared with her, whose impressions from the project are very positive, Ana also presented previous lines through photography, sharing it with us both in the monograph and on social media.

 PrisonLIFE – Podcast – Third podcast

Resocialization of Convicts through Dog Therapy

PrisonLife_Podcast2_pictIn the second episode, we discussed the project of resocializing convicts through dog therapy.

Dr Ana Batrićević shared her experiences and photos taken during the project. The essential takeaway from Ana’s experience with this project is hope – through working with dogs, she felt that hope for change can emerge even in the most challenging circumstances, offering a bright perspective for resocialization.

 PrisonLIFE – Podcast – Second Eposode

About the PrisonLIFE Project

PrisonLife_Podcast1_pictIn the first episode, we discussed some basic information about our PrisonLIFE project, which aims to understand the contemporary experience of serving a prison sentence, its objective assessment, and comprehensive improvement.

Dr Milena Milićević introduced the project, while Nikola Drndarević and Dr Janko Međedović talked about previous research as well as the main instrument we use to measure the quality of prison life. Dr Olivera Pavićević and Dr Ljeposava Ilijić shared their knowledge and experience about the prison social climate.

  PrisonLIFE – Podcast – First Eposode