On Tuesday 26 April 2022 in Rome, at the ‘Piersanti Mattarella’ Higher School of Penal Execution, the inauguration of the training course for public utility work representatives was held in the presence of Justice Minister Marta Cartabia. The meeting was opened by the Director General of Training of the DAP (Department of Penitentiary Administration), Riccardo Turrini Vita, who presented the training course, specifying that it aims to support convicted serving prison sentences in their path to reintegration into society.
Justice Minister Marta Cartabia focused her speech on the importance of the role of education, considering it fundamental for the development of a country’s life, not only for future generations, but also for the stability of social and civil coexistence. According to the minister, professional training in the prison administration is crucial for three reasons:
❖ Laws, reforms live in people’s heads and hearts, what makes the difference are the individuals and their professionalism in implementing the rules enacted by the Legislator.
❖ Training is professional motivation in which one finds a goal to strive for.
❖ In training, it is of fundamental importance to include moments of exchange of information and experiences between inmates and outsiders, experiencing new and stimulating moments of sharing.
With regard to the content of the public utility training course, emphasis was placed on the importance of the role of work from several points of view: work fills the inmates’ day with content, but above all it has a high symbolic value: the work performed is for society by those who feel they have to give back to society itself something they had taken away, leaving a negative contribution with their actions. This is why community service has a dual function: where there is a sentence to be carried out, there is a person who feels his responsibility towards the community, but there is also a community that takes joint responsibility for the recovery of each individual.
Subsequently, the head of the DAP (Department of Penitentiary Administration), Carlo Renoldi, the deputy head, Roberto Tartaglia, the President of the Milan Court of Supervision, Giovanna Di Rosa, and the Prisoners’ Rights Supervisor for Roma Capitale, Gabriella Stramaccioni, spoke. Public benefit works represent a mode of social inclusion that has visible benefits for the community: direct, because it passes through the realisation of works and activities for citizens, and indirect, because it allows to reduce recidivism and therefore to improve social security. The training course for 200 representatives aims to raise awareness of the opportunities that can be offered to prisoners. The course, which is part of the Annual Training Plan 2022, is spread over five editions, each divided into two five-day modules, for a total of 38 training hours. Public benefit work for prisoners and inmates, a treatment and re-educational tool provided for by law since 2018, has been included in the Penitentiary Ordinance with the specific Article 20 ter and has become a good practice recognised by the UN also at an international level.