In 2008 NGO Convictus Ukraine launched a Three-Step Probation and Post-Prison Reintegration Program in Ukraine funded by SIDA and supported by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service and the State Department of Ukraine for Execution of Sentences. The Project involved creating a Halfway House Reintegration Center, the adaptation of Western-European method of reintegration of former prisoners on the territory of Ukraine.
The Center was set up and operates now in the village of Krasnopavlivka, Lozova district, Kharkiv region, in a building rented out by the Village Council for the period of 25 years. The Centre welcomed its first clients in 2010. Today, the Centre’s building has been partially renovated and the program participants can enjoy modern living conditions. The Centre is focused on women released from prison and works with all 13 female prisons of Ukraine. The Centre can host 19 women simultaneously. The Centre operates as a separate legal entity – Social Institution “Centre for Social Adaptation of Released People “Halfway House”.
The following institutions were involved in creating the program and implementing the project: the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, the State Social Service for family, children and youth and their regional departments in Kharkiv Region, which was chosen for the implementation of this pilot project.
A Three-Step Reintegration Program with the first phase to start in correctional facilities is designed for 4-6 months. From March 2010 through December 2015, 171 women participated in the Program. The Program has been proved efficient based on the evaluation results. Thus, 82% of participating women remain socially integrated and successfully reintegrate into society (have families, jobs and substance and alcohol free lifestyle). A key indicator of the Program effectiveness is proven reoffending rate, repeat offences and imprisonment. Today, it is 6% of the total program (reoffending measured in the 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months following release). So we can conclude that the Reintegration Program is effective and can be used in Ukraine to reduce repeat offences and successfully reintegrate ex-convicts back into society.
An eventual result of the previous phases of the project should have been state/oblast funding of the Centre and further state financial support to implement the program as national in Ukraine. In 2015, the Kingdom of Sweden provided financial support to continue the Project until 31 December 2016 so the Halfway House Center could be transferred to the state starting from 2017. The Center is expected to be fully funded from local budgets while the Reintegration Program model to be used to reintegrate prisoners and implement European best practices in the territory of Ukraine.
For more on the Halfway House center see http://halfwayhouse.org.ua/
Location: 13/1, Dzerzhinskyy Str., Krasnopavlivka Village, Lozova District, Kharkiv Region, 64622
Implemented with financial support from the Kingdom of Sweden.