MOVEMENT FOR SMALL SCALE DETENTION
RESCALED provides a sustainable and future-oriented detention solution that suits our 21st century European society
Small scale enables tailor-made reintegration pathways, allows for a more personal approach, less bureaucracy, better dynamic security and provides more opportunities for prisoners to take responsibility and to interact with the community.
Differentiation means that prisoners are placed in the right security level and offered the most suitable programs. This has proven to work best in terms of facilitating their reintegration and rehabilitation and to be cost effective.
Community integration implies a two-way interaction between the detention house and the community: prisoners can make use of the services in society and each detention house has an added value for the local neighbourhood.
TOWARDS SMALL-SCALE, DIFFERENTIATED AND COMMUNITY-INTEGRATED DETENTION
A detention house fits the RESCALED concept when it is (1) small-scale, (2) differentiated and (3) community-integrated, and is used to implement a prison sentence or pre-trial custody. Detention houses, therefore, are meant to replace prisons. In other words, opening detention houses entails closing down prisons.
What do we mean by community-integration? Community-integration implies a two-way interaction between the detention house and the community. Prisoners make use of services available in the community and at the same time, detention houses add value to the neighbourhood and larger society. This creates mutual involvement and responsibility. Detention houses collaborate with local social workers, psychologists, medical doctors, teachers, and sports coaches, as well as volunteers from the community and local governments and municipalities. As a result, prisoners’ rights are ensured, and prisoners get to know the service providers that will continue to play a role after their release. This will enhance reintegration. Added value for the neighbourhood can be generated in different ways: a social restaurant, a repair shop, the sale of home-grown vegetables, or the shared use of certain detention house spaces. Such initiatives enable prisoners to engage in activities that have meaning for society and for themselves and to restore the harm caused by the offense both symbolically and financially.
Through this two-way interaction, the local community will learn to deal with the presence of offenders in its midst. This is expected to increase general feelings of justice, fairness and safety. Of course, this two-way interaction requires ongoing and structural communication with the neighbourhood, which should start long before the opening of the detention house.
RESCALED has received funding for three years to enable five national RESCALED coordinators to involve social workers, criminologists, architects, lawyers, psychologist, policymakers, journalists, academics, and many others, in this common endeavour. All these efforts will be coordinated at the European level, so that expertise and best practices from different countries are shared and so that RESCALED can soon become a full-fledged European organization.
There is a national RESCALED coordinator for Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Norway.