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Estonia tackles reintegration of ex-offenders

13/11/2020

ESF-funded project facilitates prisoners’ reintegration into society

Estonia is fighting recidivism and by investing in former prisoners to assist in their social integration. With funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), a project is helping offenders be prepared for many of the issues they may face after completing their sentences.

Ex-offenders, for instance, often have difficulties procuring housing after being released. The programme therefore works in cooperation with housing centres to ensure ex-offenders find temporary accommodation with healthy conditions. The programme also offers mentoring in the final stages prior to release to help offenders better plan for their new lives outside prison.   

To ensure ex-offenders have the best chance of success, the project coordinates support from various social services for up to 18 months after release, helping individuals find employment, or providing critical assistance with day-to-day administrative issues. This support is crucial in the months after leaving custody.

This successful programme has already helped more than 1 500 ex-offenders avoid recidivism, allowing them to successfully reintegrate into society.