The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has conducted numerous actions to promote diversity and respect in cooperation with prison personnel and inmates. In the spirit of the International Day of Education in Prisons (13 October) it encourages penitentiary establishments and civic groups to join the campaign against prejudice.
On 13 October 1989, the Council of Europe adopted a set of recommendations outlining the needs and responsibilities concerning the education of imprisoned persons in Europe. These recommendations stipulate that all imprisoned persons should be offered the opportunity to engage in educational activities and that these activities should serve to develop the whole person, be conducive to effective reintegration, and encourage a reduction in recidivism. The Council of Europe also recommended that every effort should be made to encourage prisoners to participate actively in all aspects of education. The International Day of Education in Prisons commemorates the day this document was signed.
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is involved in educational projects that go beyond formal education. In 2019 it became a partner of the First National Essay Competition for Prisoners ‘From the Inside’, organised by the Civic Initiative Association ‘Pro Civium’. The topic for the competition was, ‘What would you say today to the person you have harmed?’ Entries were evaluated by a panel of judges, which included ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association representatives.
‘NEVER AGAIN’ also prepared a special booklet for inmates in cooperation with ‘Pro Civium’. It includes information about assistance programmes offered to prisoners that can help to prepare them for life after jail. The booklet was prepared with the following motive in mind: ‘Each person deserves a second chance. The bigger the evil committed, the longer the path to forgiveness’.
Also in 2019, students of the Centre for Continuous Learning at the Penitentiary in Czarne, Poland, in collaboration with the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, prepared exhibitions which displayed a collection of anti-racist posters and pictures. The idea for this project was first brought forward by Michal, an inmate, who wrote the following words: ‘This was the first project of this kind at our penitentiary and it was met with a favourable reaction’. One of the exhibitions concerned fighting against prejudice in sports, and another was conducted to commemorate the anniversary of the Kristallnacht, an antisemitic pogrom which occured in Nazi Germany.
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has cooperated with another inmate, Lukasz Glowacki, who is also the author of the blog ‘37 Days’. It is one of the few blogs in Europe written from a place without internet access. The main purpose of the blog is to present the reality of prison from the perspective of an inmate. The author writes about philosophy, emotions and human relations. Some entries also highlight the activities of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.
In 2016, representatives of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association provided a series of anti-racist training sessions for prison employees and volunteers at special workshops in Poland, Greece and Hungary. The workshops were part of the innovative educational project E.U.R.O.P.E. (European Union Rapprochement for Offenders and Pupils Education), which was run with support from the European Commission in order to foster European and civic values among inmates and young people prone to marginalization and crime.
Despite the current pandemic, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is ready to help penitentiary establishments and civic organisations to prepare anti-racist exhibitions by delivering posters, leaflets or stickers; providing past editions of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ magazine, and other publications to prison libraries. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is also ready to extend its patronage to sports tournaments (including e-sports) for inmates, which are played under the slogan: ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ also delivers online presentations and workshops about racism and diversity for prison personnel and inmates.