Study visit of representatives of British prisons in Poland organised by Barka UK and the Barka Mutual Aid Foundation in Poland. 10th-14th October 2022

Last week, Barka in Poland hosted a delegation of representatives of British prisons. The purpose of the visit, organised in partnership with BARKA UK, was to establish cooperation between the prison system and civic organizations in Poland and Great Britain.

All this to more effectively support Polish citizens in British prisons and those leaving prisons. The delegation from Great Britain held fruitful meetings, including the meeting at the Ministry of Justice and the seat of the Board of the Prison Services in Warsaw. Meetings with local governments and civic organisations were particularly important, including the Barka Communities in Strzelce Opolskie and in Wielkopolska region, which cooperate with prisons to support people serving sentences.

In Barka Centres and organisations cooperating with Barka, people coming out of prisons rebuild their self-esteem through the experience of friendship, community life, participation in various activities, professional courses and mutual help.

The participants of the study visit met with members of the Community, including migrants who returned to Poland from Great Britain and other Western European countries. They were particularly interested in shared testimonies of their journey from exclusion to social integration. Barka Foundation shared information on the activities of the Community and cooperation with prisons and probation officers. The rich programme of the visit also included: visiting the garden, the organic farm and the social enterprise: the Lake Centre.

The study visit to Poland showed the British delegation a model system of social and professional reintegration, based on vocational education and social entrepreneurship, which is used by persons leaving prisons.

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