The transition from prison to life in freedom is often very complex. For the people concerned, leaving prison is accompanied by a large number of trials, whether it be the re-establishment of family, friendship and social ties, the search for a job or the search for accommodation. Despite the upstream work of the Psychosocial and Socio-Educational Service (SPSE) and the Central Social Assistance Service (SCAS), a number of ex-prisoners find it difficult to reintegrate into society.
On 27 October, Minister of Justice Sam Tanson and Minister for Family Affairs and Integration Corinne Cahen presented a 'transition programme' between prison and society that will be set up to help people in social distress who are motivated to improve their personal situation. As the objective of the programme is to facilitate the reintegration of ex-prisoners, it is aimed exclusively at persons with a right of residence on Luxembourg territory. Based on the data collected in recent years, it is estimated that between fifty and eighty people per year could be concerned.
The programme comprises three successive phases:
a) Emergency accommodation (maximum 7 days)
The emergency situation starts as soon as the prisoner is released. If the person does not have a place to stay, he or she can be put in touch directly with a liaison officer specialised in prison-related problems and social support. The person is then allocated a place in an emergency accommodation facility such as a night shelter.
The person can stay there for up to 7 days and the liaison officer undertakes from the first day to find the person medium-term accommodation. During the first week, the liaison officer also undertakes to help the person undertake all the necessary administrative procedures.
This first step is the full responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the liaison officers are under the supervision of the Ministry.
b) Medium-term accommodation (maximum 6 months)
The link to medium-term accommodation can be made either from the CPL or CPG for sentenced prisoners without accommodation, or within the first 7 days of an emergency accommodation situation (e.g. for a person released from pre-trial detention).
Medium-term accommodation, which may not exceed six months, is provided in existing accommodation facilities run by associations approved by the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region under the law of 8 September 1998 regulating relations between the State and organisations working in the social, family and therapeutic fields. During these six months, the person is supervised and accompanied individually by the liaison officer and by socio-educational professionals.
After this 6-month period, the person can move into permanent accommodation.
The pilot project is monitored by a steering group chaired by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region; It is made up of representatives from SCAS, SPSE CPG and SPSE CPL, the Entente des Offices sociaux, the Office national d'inclusion sociale (ONIS), the Fonds national de Solidarité (FNS), the Direction Droit Pénal et Pénitentiaire of the Ministry of Justice and the Solidarité division of the Ministry for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region.
A management unit made up of staff from SCAS, ONIS and SPSE, ensures regular monitoring of the persons under supervision and provides professionals with answers to questions that arise in the field.
Presse release by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region