As part of the EPTA project’s work, a group of experts (special interest group – SIG) was set up in October 2019 to develop a handbook for training prison staff who manage difficult (violent) prisoners.
The expert group compared and assessed the standards and practices of each SIG member country, and based on these and international and European literature and best practices, the experts agreed on a set of minimum standards for the efficient management of these prisoners.
This will provide a framework for continuous improvement and research to increase the quality of service for the management of this prisoner cohort, and increase staff confidence, competence, and professional development. It is also an essential prerequisite for the development of staff training programmes.
Selection of Participants
Introduction (to the unit/system/service)
Managing Crisis and Conflict
Risk Assessment and Risk Management
Working with difficult personalities
Staff support policies
Model of curriculum by skill unit
SU1: Understanding the institutional framework and procedures of the unit
SU2: Managing aggressive or violent behaviour
SU3: Experiential training/reflective thinking
Ex-post (satisfaction assessment/feedback – trainees)
Educational: assessment of participants’ skills
Practical tests for operational components (techniques)
Observations and feedback from trainers (course coordinators) on each trainee
Impact (evaluation in the workplace): measuring skill development
EPTA (2021). Managing Difficult Inmates Training Handbook. European Penitentiary Training Academies. EPTA_08_SIG3_Difficult_Inmates_EN_def2.pdf