A Second Chance for Convicts

Project location: Italy
Project start date: December 2007 - Project end date: December 2008
Project number: 2007-12
Beneficiary: Centro Italiano di Solidarietà

The Centro Italiano di Solidarietà of Rome (CeIS) is an Italian private non profit organisation founded in Rome in 1971. For many years it has been represented on the Drugs Committees of local, regional, national and international bodies.

In view of its international activities CeIS was granted consultative status (category II) with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in May 1985, and has developed Human Resource Training Projects for different European states including Eastern European countries. Through projects funded by UNDCP, the European Union and the Italian Foreign Office has developed drug demand reduction and health and community empowerment projects in several countries.
At the local level CeIS has developed a wide range of programmes covering different aspects of drug addiction as well as school drop-outs, adolescents with mental health problems and homeless and marginalised people, in total it has a population of approximately 800 clients. In addition it runs Vocational Training Programmes, Employment Initiatives and Social re-integration activities. In order to give support to all the programmes, CeIS has established a Research and Documentation Center specialised in Drugs and Social issues.

In line with its central belief that problem solving should focus on the person and not the symptoms, CeIS carries out its core task of socialising people in difficulty. Drug misuse represented a specific problem to which CeIS, as a human services organisation, responded and developed a specialisation. Together this approach has resulted in CeIS being rooted both in the tradition of the Therapeutic Community (TC) and in the Italian culture of volunteerism and social enterprise.

CeIS employs a staff of over 100 people including clinical staff for its programs, training experts, prevention agents and administrative staff, with an annual budget of approximately 5 million Euros. Linked to its commitment with the wider community, a group of 60 volunteers collaborate with CeIS.

Over the years CeIS has developed a unique skill in the creation and development of networks. In 1995 CeIS, commissioned by the Italian Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs, established a National Network of Vocational Training projects for drug users with financial support from the European Social Fund.

At the international level, by developing training and organisational design, CeIS has contributed to the creation of several networks such as the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities, the European Federation of TCs, the Italian Federation of TCs and the Spanish Proyecto Hombre Network. Moreover, it continues to collaborate with international organisations in the UN system, such as UNODC, NGO Committees and other international organisations.

Finally, CeIS was directly involved in the organisation and management of the UNDCP/NGO World Forum on Drug Demand Reduction, held in Bangkok (Thailand) from 12 to 16 December 1994.

CeIS was a member of both the Management Committee and the Forum Steering Committee, together with other international NGOs and the United Nations Drug Control Programme (predecessor of UNODC). The aims of the Forum were to increase the attention given to drug demand reduction, to enhance NGO involvement in that regard and to facilitate and improve partnerships.

The project cofunded by the Nando Peretti Foundation aims at opening a reception and counselling service for those who have been in prison and have difficulty in starting a new life, prisoners who are under the so called "alternative measures", former prisoners, former drug addicts, etc.
The project fulfils the aims of the Foundation with its strong commitment to the social insertion of the above mentioned target group; people, who once outside the prison do not know where to go and need a house, a job, psychological, social and legal support. Very often public institutions ask private ones for this kind of support and counselling service for personal, social and labour insertion .
The service for prisoners in "alternative measures" and former prisoners proposed here is an ambulatory service and provides different activities and actions which can be divided in the following areas:
Reception: to provide initial information
Specialist counselling: depending on needs the following counselling will be provided: legal, employment, psychological on either an individual or a group basis.
A social secretary will be available to provide information on leisure, training and employment and different workshops will be organised
The employment counselling will both help the client to look for a job and to create his/her own professional activity. Information on available training will be provided and employers and businesses will be contacted.
The service for prisoners and former prisoners will be run by a multidisciplinary team composed of: the project coordinator, 1 psychologist, 1 employment consultant, 1 legal consultant, 1 social worker.
Results of the project will be:
- creation of an ambulatory service for prisoners and ex prisoners.
- assistance and counselling to 30 people throughout the project
- about 60 people who use the service for a short period
- Creation of a network among both public services, such as Adult Social Service Centres, SeRT, City council etc., and private ones in order to enhance social, personal and labour reinsertion of people in difficulty.

The headquarter of the service will be in via A. Ambrosini 129, within the 11th municipality of Rome, a place very well connected with public transport.

think global, act local
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