European Prison Officers for the 21st Century

PO21 seeks to identify the prison officers’ professional skills needs 


Across Europe, there are many challenges related to the training and education of prison officers. Prison staff often lack adequate initial and continuing training and there are significant differences in training policies and practices, from recruitment and selection, to initial training, to learning outcomes, to qualifications and the duration of the training.

These disparities between jurisdictions can inhibit professional development and mobility, across the EU, and prevent the implementation of framework decisions on the application of the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters.

PO21 seeks to fill these gaps, identifying the prison officers professional skills needs – the existing and the emerging. Moreover, this project reinforces the exchange of knowledge and practices and adapts education and professional training to the needs, while promoting qualification standards, with particular emphasis on digital skills.