Kick-off Meeting Latvia

JULY 30TH 2013

National project CIRCLES4EU Kick-Off seminar in Latvia was organized by State Probation Service of Latvia (SPSL) in cooperation with University of Latvia (LU) and State Correction Department of Latvia (SCDL). The one day seminar took place in Riga, Latvia on 30th of July 2013.

Prior to the Kick-Off seminar project employees were holding several meetings to discuss seminar participant list and agenda. Eventually the project team came up with short list of more than 30 potential participants covering organizations that will be involved building Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA). Considering building inner circle representatives from NGOs caring for children protection and have volunteer programs in place or has potential for volunteer recruitment were invited.  Considering building outer circle representatives form police, custody court, local authorities (communities where potential Core Members (CM) might be returning), and psychotherapist association were invited. To strengthen common understanding and internal support representatives from Ministry of Justice, SPSL (potential CM case managers and people involved in restorative justice area) were among the seminar participants. A SCDL direct partner for CM recruitment was represented by rehabilitation department and prison management. Each participant received individualised invitation letter with request to confirm participation and seminar agenda.

The seminar agenda was decided to cover history of COSA, information on CIRCLES4EU project and active participant engagement in group work.

Brief overview of topics covered during the seminar.
  • The Kick-Off seminar started with proactive participant introduction session led by project coordinators Ms. Kristiāna Lapiņa and Ms. Iveta Dārzniece.
  • Presentation of Mr. Imants Jurevičius was given on COSA concept in Latvia, explaining COSA general idea, pros and cons, CM and society perspective on COSA and what has been achieved so far by SPSL dealing with sex offender rehabilitation and prevention of reoffending.
  • Mr. Mihails Papsujevičs explained CIRCLES4EU project objectives, partnership, project life span, project team, inner and outer circle (participants and roles), organizational structure of the COSA during and after the project.
  • Mr. Anvars Zavadskis explained role of University of Latvia. Main topics covered were on COSA researcher network and LU role, COSA effectiveness, volunteer profile and potential challenges implementing COSA.
  • Head of State Correction Department of Latvia Ms. Ilona Spure explained sex offender profile in Latvia prisons, gave statistics on sexual crimes and work done by SCDL in prison inmate rehabilitation.
  • Project manager/coordinator Mr. Andris Šillers explained the project Implementation plan.
  • For the group activities participants were divided in two groups. First group brainstormed volunteer recruitment strategy and selection criteria. Second group concentrated on outer circle role in volunteer training, support for volunteers and CM selection criteria.
  • We didn’t distribute formal seminar evaluation forms to participants but by informal conversations during the breaks, group work results and how enthusiastically project presentations were requested by participants the project team sensed that the seminar was grasping interest and laid foundation for smoother COSA implementation in Latvia.

Andris Šillers
Project Manager/Coordinator
State Probation Service of Latvia

Presentations (in Latvian)

Darbs ar personām, kas notiesātas par noziedzīgu nodarījumu pret tikumību un dzimumneaizskaramību – by Ilona Spure

Latvijas Universitāte un “Apļi Eiropai” – by Līga Rasnača and Anvars Zavackis

Atbalsta un atbildības apļu idejas ienākšana Latvijā – by Imants Jurevičius

Eiropas Komisijas īpašās programmas Daphne III 2011-2012 projekts ,,Apļi Eiropai” CIRCLES4EU – by Mihails Papsujevičs