SOCIAL INCLUSION and ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE POMPEII IS LAUNCHING COMMUNITY SERVICE SCHEMES FOR THE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF PRISONERS
Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Park of Pompeii, the Department of Penitentiary Administration of the “Giuseppe Salvia” Prison of Poggioreale, the Surveillance Court of Naples and the Authority for the rights of individuals deprived of personal freedom
Fresh from the positive experience, still underway, whereby the Archaeological Park of Pompeii has offered community service programmes for defendants (still waiting to stand trial), the Park has now decided to become involved in a broader form of social inclusion, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Penitentiary Administration - “Giuseppe Salvia” Prison of Poggioreale, the Surveillance Court of Naples and the Authority for the rights of individuals deprived of personal freedom. This will enable prisoners to contribute to voluntary community service schemes in the Park’s archaeological sites.
The presentation of the agreement and the signing of the memorandum of understanding was held on Monday 16 October at the Auditorium degli Scavi in the presence of Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii; Carlo Berdini, Director of “G. Salvia” Prison of Poggioreale, Samuele Ciambriello, from the Regional Authority of Prisoners of Campania, and Patrizia Mirra, President of the Surveillance Court of Naples.
Other participants included Lucia Castellano, the Regional Director of the Penitentiary Administration of Campania, and Giovanni Russo, the Head of the Department of Penitentiary Administration.
It is the second convention on voluntary community service schemes organised at archaeological sites, in which the Park of Pompeii already has previous experience. The shared goal of the Penitentiary Administration and the Park is to encourage the occupational and social re-integration of individuals facing criminal prosecution and to make detention an opportunity for training and rehabilitation, exploiting the extraordinary nature of cultural sites as an additional stimulus towards personal and professional rehabilitation.
The individuals will be selected – a maximum number of 5 people each year – from those who have displayed good behaviour during their prison term, by a special committee made up of professionals from the various institutions that have signed the agreement.
The programme may involve several spheres of activity, according to the skills and aptitudes of the individual: activities may include garden and lawn maintenance, more general support for the ordinary maintenance of the site and the digitalisation and archiving of documents in administrative offices. It will consist of a training course which also regards health and safety as part of the preparation for starting work.
The activities will be conducted on an ongoing basis which will enable the acquisition of work skills that can be used by the prisoner at the end of the term of detention to ensure reintegration in the labour market.
The prison shall undertake to guarantee on-site surveillance of the individuals selected to participate in community service work schemes and legally required insurance cover.
The memorandum of understanding will last two years and can be renewed.
“This memorandum of understanding, like the previous one signed with the Court of Torre Annunziata, “stated Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the Park Director, “demonstrates the extent to which culture, through museums and similar institutions, can play an important role in social reintegration or, simply, in bringing people closer to cultural heritage. These projects, like others set up by the Park of Pompeii related to the inclusion of the territory and schools, will ensure that archaeology can make a practical contribution to changing the lives of people and thereby of the whole of society”.
Ministry of Justice
Rome, 16 October 2023
Dear Sir or Madam,
Even though I am writing from a distance, I would like to express my warmest greetings and congratulations for an initiative that combines the essential elements for implementing the constitutional function of a sentence: first and foremost, work, alongside culture and beauty.
After the agreement concerning procedures for probation, this agreement on community service work schemes, which will enable several people deprived of freedom to be employed at the most famous archaeological park in the world, is of the utmost importance. We shall be providing a new opportunity to those who come to offer their services, obviously people with suitable profiles. We are offering it to them and to our society: work is the main way of ensuring that the recidivism rate is zero per cent, in other words, of preventing those who have committed a crime to return to law-breaking.
It is a form of investment that is in everyone’s interests. And I would like to express my gratitude to the heads of the penitentiary administration, both at a local and central level, the surveillance judiciary, the ombudsman for prisoners’ rights, all the professionals involved and, last but not least, to the Park Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel for his unflinching support, in the full awareness of how the beauty and history of a unique site like Pompeii can only restore beauty to the whole of society.
Thank you and I wish you the best of luck with your work