In April, the Memorandum of Agreement was signed in Montevideo in order to establish the RAP (Red de las Academias Penitenciarias Bi-regional) between Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal) and Latin America.
On Wednesday 6 April the first meeting of the RAP (Red de las Academias Penitenciarias) was held in Montevideo – Uruguay, a network conceived as a space for regional cooperation between Latin American training centres and academies with the support of European partner countries. The RAP project is part of the wider transnational project EL PACcTO, financed by the European Union, in which France, Spain, Portugal and Italy are involved and the latter, thanks to the coordination of the Italian-American institute IILA, is the lead partner for one of the three pillars: the penitentiary one.
The aim of the RAP is to exchange good practices on the organisation of penitentiary schools and their training programmes, and to strengthen cooperation, including the scientific one, for the prison sector. Furthermore, the event was dedicated to the importance of training in prison doctrine, dynamic security and prevention and control measures, in order to counteract corruption in prisons.
After a whole year of work entirely carried out online, the representatives of the Academies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Italy, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Uruguay, had the opportunity to meet in a formal meeting in the Uruguayan capital and exchange best practices on the organization of penitentiary schools and their training programmes.
There are currently 17 Academies involved, which, during 2021, have had the opportunity to share technical documents, organise thematic meetings, bilateral meetings and international activities.
In Montevideo, penitentiary training experts from the member countries met to share their experiences and strengthen the coordination of judicial, penitentiary and police activities through the signing of the RAP Memorandum of Agreement.
The opening of the first meeting was attended by the Council Chairman of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation (AUCI) and Pro-Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic; the Domestic Affairs Minister; the Social Development Minister; the Juvenile Justice Department Chairwoman; the European Union Ambassador; the Director of Coexistence and Citizens’ Security; the AUCI Executive Director; the authority of the Assistance Programme against Transnational Organised Crime; the Head of the National Rehabilitation Institute as well as representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Italy and Paraguay.
The Department of Penitentiary Administration identified Vincenzo Ferdinando Maria Abbondante, manager of the Penitentiary Police, as Italy’s spokesman, who had the opportunity to illustrate the peculiar characteristics and excellences of the Italian Penitentiary System.
After signing the operational Memorandum of Agreement, the Secretariat of the Penitentiary Academies Network was elected, conferring the role of Presidency to Uruguay, the role of Vice-Presidency to Italy for the experience, professionalism and competence demonstrated in the penitentiary field, and finally, the role of Secretariat to Costa Rica.