23 September 2021 – Tunis, Tunisia
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (ROMENA) organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the General Committee of Prisons and Reeducation (GCPR) a round table event to mark the launch of the project "Supporting the Establishment of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Treatment Programme in Prison Settings, in line with Relevant International Standards.” The programme is funded by the United States of America (USA).
The round table brought together for two days representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Committee of Prisons and Reeducation and Civil Society Organizations.
Mr. Imed Derouiche, State Attorney General, Director of Judicial Services at the Ministry of Justice delivered opening remarks, followed by Mr. Hichem El Ouni, Officer in charge President of the GCPR, Ms. Erica Thibault, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Tunisia, and Ms. Caroline Burgers Mailhot, Head of Office of UNODC in Tunisia.
Following the official ceremony, during which partnership documents were exchanged, the roundtable participants reviewed and validated the terms of reference for the project’s Steering and Technical Committees. Thematic workshops allowed participants to define the strategies to be adopted for the implementation of the prioritized activities in the short term.
The overall objective of this project is to establish an effective approach to reduce recidivism in Tunisia through the implementation of CBT programmes in three pilot prisons. This will be possible through improving the capacities of the GCPR to better prevent the violent behavior of offenders in prison and after their release. Through this project, Tunisia is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to set up CBT programmes for detainees, an initiative that UNODC congratulates while reiterating its commitment to support its implementation and future expansion to other countries.