What is the CJPE?

Launched in 2012 with the aim to create a new method of collaborating, the Criminal Justice Platform Europe (CJPE) is a partnership of three network organisations working in the fields of detention (EuroPris), Probation (Confederation of European Probation, CEP) and European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) to reduce re-offending and the impact of crime and to improve methods of working with victims, communities and offenders throughout Europe.

Criminal Justice Summer Course 2020-2021: Responses to Sexual Violence (CANCELLED)

Very few offences stir up such strong feelings as those committed by violent sexual offenders. Communities are fearful. The media often vengeful. Politicians speak mainly of punishment.

The lasting damage inflicted upon victims can be devastating. How can their voices be heard? Can wrongs be put right? Is prison the only answer? How can professionals who work with such offenders retain balance and hope and effective practice? Walking the tight rope of risk management… We live in the age of #metoo with highly sexualised images bombarding us from every angle and yet, when people make mistakes, or have sexual identity problems, or commit sex offences, the immediacy of judgement, is bitter and relentless. To work in a prison or a community setting with sex offenders often draws suspicion from colleagues, let alone the general public.

So this event is a unique international opportunity to meet professionals, from other countries, from different disciplines, from a range of backgrounds to share and to learn from people doing the same work. The focus will be upon practice: what works – new ideas – restorative methods – preventing reoffending – research – workshops – practice visits – sharing experience. The aim is that participants bring their expertise and, through engaging with the courses, are better equipped and informed about current approaches and effective interventions. The event will be demanding, but rewarding, for the individual practitioner and the organisations they represent.


Each organisation member of CJPE will address the main topic from a different but complementary angle:

The European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) will focus on ethics in management and treatment of individuals sentenced for a sexual offense.

The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) will explore the better understanding of sexual abuse to create effective policy and practice.

The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) will look how to include victims and use restorative justice approaches to respond to sexual violence.

By sharing ideas and considering the very latest research and programmes, participants will be stimulated to engage with the debate on how to respond to sexual violence. Methods will include training, presentations and discussions among the participants. The aim is to examine key practice issues, inspire new thinking, promote cross-fertilization and build new networks to improve services and practice in prisons, probation and restorative justice. The variety of the group, coming from different European realities, will provide further opportunities to learn and engage in criminal justice issues.

The Summer Course consists of plenary sessions, four seminars, five study visits and three parallel workshops. During registrations, participants will be asked to choose which workshops, seminar and study visit they would like to attend.

Parallel workshops

Each organisation invites experts in the field of sexual violence, to lead a series of 8 workshop sessions focusing either on prison, or probation, or restorative justice. During registrations you will be asked to chose which of the three workshops is more interesting for your work.

Ethics in management and treatment of individuals sentenced for a sexual offense (Europris)

The role of prison and probation services for persons convicted of a sexual offense, is, as for other persons under their responsibility, double: to execute a penal sanction and to manage and rehabilitate. There is an ongoing and extensive international research on assessment, management and effective interventions for this group of offenders. Evidence based assessment and a coherent management plan that incorporates health, social, psychological and behavioral factors is considered best practice to prevent reoffending. Informed consent and cooperation are central to risk assessment and their risk-and-needs management plan, as are considerations concerning safe accommodation under imprisonment. This workshop will look at how to create a safe environment in prison, risk assessment, intervention programs, interagency cooperation and supervision and assistance of staff working with sex offenders.


  • Marianne Fuglestved - Psychologist, Prison and Probation Service, Denmark
  • Nicholas Blagden - Co-Head Sexual Offences Crime and Misconduct Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Better understanding of sexual abuse to create effective policy and practice (CEP)

Sexual abuse is a complex and multi-faceted issue, which means that there is not always a simple or straightforward solution. This workshop will focus on the research and practice evidence base related to people who commit sexual offences and allow participants to consider the causes, consequences and responses to sexual abuse in a rounded, multi-disciplinary fashion. The workshop will consider the psychology of sexual offending behaviour across a range of offences and populations considering what that means for prevention, treatment and reintegration at a practice as well as policy level. In addition, the workshop will ask the participants to consider the real world challenges of responding to sexual offending from a public protection and community engagement angle so that they can develop appropriate responses in their home jurisdictions. The workshop will be a combination of research evidence and professional best practice that enables the participants to receive a rounded experience.


  • Kieran McCartan - Professor in Criminology, University of the West of England, Bristol University, UK
  • Hanna Lena Merdian - Associate Professor at Department of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK

Restorative justice and victims for understanding and responding to sexual violence (EFRJ)

There is a lot to be learnt about sexual violence from the people directly affected by it. The aim of the workshop is to inspire people in working with victims and offenders of harmful sexual behaviour in a restorative justice way. Experiences in research and practice prove that it is not only possible but also relevant to offer restorative justice in those serious and complex cases. By explaining methods, showing figures, telling about personal experience, storytelling, using case studies and experiential learning exercises, presenting projects and film screenings, participants will be introduced to the restorative justice models used in UK and in Belgium for working with victims and offenders of harmful sexual behavior. Much attention will be dedicated to risks and opportunities in restorative justice practices as a response to sexual violence, including historical abuse and intra-familial harmful sexual behaviour. The workshop will provide some answers and probably raise many more questions to finally look from a new angle at restorative justice in sex offences.


  • Vincent Mercer - Restorative justice practitioner and researcher, AIM Project, UK
  • Kristel Buntinx - Senior victim-offender mediator, Moderator, Belgium