Sea cost in Varna

Restorative Justice and Prisons

EFRJ Summer School 2023 in Varna, Bulgaria

In 2023, the EFRJ organises its 9th Summer School in Varna (Bulgaria) on the subject of Prisons & Restorative Justice. The event will take place between 24 - 28 July 2023

The Summer School focuses on the lived experience of imprisonment and the participation of prisoners in restorative practices. It is informed by research and practice in the experience of prisoners of participating in restorative justice. It reflects a deep respect for the authority of prisoners’ lived experience and their narratives. Also, the insights, reflections of all other stakeholders are taken into account in this course. 

How can a prison officer, case manager or prison governor work restoratively? How can the local community be involved? Or how to work restoratively with the children of imprisoned parents? Or how to support victims entering prison to engage in restorative practices? 

This course is specifically created with a heart, mind, and soul. All three of these things matter greatly in working restoratively in prison.   

For who

This is a course designed to prepare policy makers and professionals working in- and outside prison, as well as practitioners to work restoratively in prison. It is recommended for those who want to develop or execute restorative practices in prison.

The EFRJ Summer Schools typically bring together a wide range of professionals and offer them meaningful learning and exchange opportunities. The 2023 Summer School is particularly relevant for: 

  • Restorative justice facilitators and service coordinators
  • Prison management and staff 
  • Policy makers working in the domain of criminal justice, prisons, or restorative justice
  • Representative of NGOs who work in prisons 
  • Academics researching the topic 



The course will be delivered by senior experts of the topic Bart Claes and Roberto Moreno

Local Organiser 

Elena Evstatieva (EFRJ member, Director of La Conférence SARL). 


University of Economics – Varna, University Mediation Center

Registration is open (until 18 July 2023). Early bird registration is available until 10 May 2023. 




bul. "Knyaz Boris I" 111
9002 Varna


24 -28 July 2023

12th EFRJ Summer School 2023 in Varna poster

Course Programme

Module 1 - Understanding prison realities

In prison, the context, culture, structure influences every aspect of living or working in prison. We will combine personal experiences with scientific knowledge and work with the narratives of prisoners, as well as with these of the participants.

Module 2 - Restorative justice: transcending the prison walls

Prison and restorative justice have a challenging relationship. We will analyse the risks, possibilities, and opportunities of restorative justice as a concept with values, standards and practices in a prison society.

Module 3 - Restorative justice in prison from a stakeholders’ perspective

We will address the question of why restorative justice in prison can be of interest of all stakeholders in prison.  We will pay attention to the perspective of the prison governor, prison staff, social organisations, visitors, victim and local community. 

Module 4 - Doing restorative practices in prison
We will work on the dynamics of establishing restorative practices in prison for offenders, victims and the community (inside/outside prison community).

Module 5  - Project development 
We will develop with the participants a model for establishing restorative practices in their local prison reality and oriented to their professional profile.

Postcard of the workshop of Roberto Moreno and Bart Claes on prisons and restorative justice in Tirana (2018)

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • understand the different experiences of working and living in a prison setting and  be able to deal intellectually and emotionally with the prison context, as well as with restorative justice and its practices. 
  • identify all stakeholders perspectives (victims’, offenders´ and prison officers´ and community), challenges and needs and to understand why and how restorative practices can take into consideration them;
  • be able to design and promote restorative practices in prison adapted to the national reality of each participant;


 24 July (Mon)25 July (Tue)26 July (Wed)27 July (Thu) 28 July (Fri) 
7:00 - 9:00 breakfast breakfast breakfast breakfast 
9:00 - 12:30 pm workshop workshop workshop closing workshop 
(until 11:30 am) 
12:30 - 1:30 pmREGISTRATIONlunch lunch (from 12 pm)lunch  
1:30 - 4:30 pm opening workshop workshop Study visit in 
the Varna Prison
4:30 - 5:30  workshop   
8 pm - 10 pm  social dinner   


Bart Claes and Roberto Moreno


Bart Claes and Roberto Moreno

Bart Claes, after completing his Master’s studies in criminology at the University of Brussels (Belgium), worked as a victim-offender mediator at the Flemish organisation Moderator. He introduced restorative justice and mediation in the two male high-security prisons and the female prison in Brussels. In 2012, Bart obtained a PhD in criminology at the University of Brussels. For his doctoral research he did an ethnographic research on the meaning of restorative justice and mediation in a Belgian prison. In 2015, he moved to Sheffield for two years to join the School of Law at the University of Sheffield on a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship on a European research project regarding desistance from crime and restorative justice practices in prison. In 2018, he was appointed professor on forensic care, restorative justice and prison studies at Avans University of Applied Studies in The Netherlands. Currently, his research group focuses on how restorative justice practices in prison can promote desistance from crime. He is also co-founder of the Dutch Center of Expertise on Children of Imprisoned Parents and is member, and former Board member of the European Forum of Restorative Justice. Currently he is also General Director of the Flemish organsation CAW, that among others, delivers forensic social care in all prisons in Flanders.

Roberto Moreno is the responsible officer for justice, prisoners and victims of terrorism at the office of the Ombudsman for the Basque Country. Until 2019 he was the Head of the Adults Justice Service of the of the Ministry of Justice of the Basque Government, coordinating the Victim-Offender Mediation Services of the Basque Country, also the Victim Support Services and the Probation Services. In the past he has 15 years´ experience defending prisoners’ rights in prison, legal advising, visiting at prison and struggling for their rights in different civil movements and NGOs. He supported as an adviser and expert the restorative encounters between ETA Basque separatist group members and victims in 2011-2012, he has disseminated the experience in Europe for a decade and he has facilitated new encounters since 2018. He has been a Board member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (2014-2020).

Venue, Accommodation and Meals

The Summer School will take place at the Rosslyn Dimyat Hotel Varna (bul. "Knyaz Boris I" 111,
9002 Varna, Bulgaria). The accommodation is organised in the same hotel as the workshop. Single rooms are reserved for the particpants. 

The participation fee includes the accommodation, 4 breakfasts (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), 3 lunches (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and the social dinner. The rest of the meals (lunches on the first and last day and the other dinners) have to be covered by the participants themselves. 

Participation Fee

EFRJ members get a discount of the fee. The discount is automatically applied to members (after logging in to our website). If you haven't paid your membership due for the current year yet,  you will not get the discount automatically. If you don't get the discount for any other reason, please contact Bálint Juhász to get your discount code before you fill in your application. 

Is the participation fee a barrier for you to participate? We can offer a limited number of partial waivers of the fee. If you would like apply for these please fill in this application form by 1 May 2023.  The applications will be reviewed after that, and responses will be sent by 5 May evening. 

 Early birdFull price 
 (until 10 May 2023) 
EFRJ members860€970€
Non members960€1070€

The Summer School is a residential event. We encourage participants to get the full experience by staying at the same accommodation. However, you may organise your own accommodation and register for the Summer School by contacting us for a special registration code. For this option the following prices apply: 

 Early bird (without accommodation)Full price (without accommodation)
 (until 10 May 2023) 
EFRJ members590€790€
Non members690€890€

Cancellation Policy 

If you cancel your participation before 10 May 2023 you get 70% refund of your subscription fee. If you need to cancel after 10 May 2023 your participation for a 'vis major' reason (including Covid-19 infection), and you can provide a proof of this, you may get a voucher for another EFRJ event in the future in the value of maximum 50% of your registration price. In other cases we cannot refund your registration fee.  
You may transfer your registration to another participant without any costs until 17 July 2023 (in case there are available spots). 

University of Economics - Varna logo


The Summer School is organised in partnership with the University Mediation Center at the University of Economics – Varna. 


Local Organiser

The EFRJ organises its Summer Schools in collaboration with local members and partners. This Summer School in Bulgaria co-organised by Elena Evstatieva, EFRJ member, Director of La Conférence SARL.