Third All-Ukrainian Forum of Penitentiary Psychologists was held with the support of EU Project Pravo-Justice
On 14-15 September 2023, the Ministry of Justice hosted the Third All-Ukrainian Forum of Penitentiary Psychologists with the support of the EU Project Pravo-Justice. The event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the State Penitentiary Service, academics from the Bohomolets National Medical University, the Laboratory of Social and Political Psychology of the Research Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, the Health Care Centre of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, the Academy of the State Penitentiary Service, psychologists from prisons and pre-trial detention centres of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, the Probation Service, the National Library of Ukraine for Children.
“Measures to strengthen the professional competence of psychologists are important in terms of minimising the risk of convicts re-offending and ensuring their successful rehabilitation into society. The Forum will serve as a bridge between psychology experts and practitioners as it aims to promote the development of psychologists’ professional competence,” said Olena Vysotska, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, in her welcoming remarks. She emphasised that it is necessary to update approaches to arranging and conducting social, educational and psychological work with convicts and detainees, and that it is important to improve psychological work in penal institutions.
In his welcoming remarks, Serhii Hrechaniuk, Head of the Department for the Enforcement of Criminal Sentences, noted that it is necessary to take measures to improve the psychological assistance system for convicts and detainees as this is one of the objectives of the Strategy for Reforming the Penitentiary System until 2026.
Nataliia Rybalka, Deputy Head of the Department, spoke about what has been achieved towards realising this strategic goal.
“Improving the professional competence of psychologists in penitentiary institutions is one of the Department’s priorities, given the challenges of today and the specifics of psychologists’ work in correctional facilities. This area of work is carried out in close cooperation and interaction with partners, experts and academics,” said Nataliia Rybalka.
In his welcoming remarks, Oleksandr Naumenko, First Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work and Postgraduate Education of the Bohomolets National Medical University, Doctor of Medical Sciences, stressed that it is necessary to preserve and maintain both the health of psychologists in working in penitentiary institutions and the health of those in prison. He assured that he is ready to provide methodological and practical assistance to the personnel working in penitentiary institutions, as well as supporting their professional activities.
Mykhailo Matiash, Head of the Department of General and Medical Psychology of the Bohomolets National Medical University delivered a presentation on “For the sake of the future: the path from helplessness to freedom”.
Liliia Prudka, a lecturer at the Department of General and Medical Psychology of the Bohomolets National Medical University, presented the findings of an All-Ukrainian study of psycho-emotional and professional burnout among psychologists. Vitalii Lunov, Associate Professor of the Department of General and Medical Psychology at the Bohomolets National Medical University, spoke about the latest methods of diagnosing suicidal risk using neurointerface.
Yuliia Hundertailo, Head of the All-Ukrainian NGO “Art Therapeutic Association”, mindfulness instructor, junior scientist at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, spoke about ensuring a healthy lifestyle for people in prison through using psych hygiene practices and art therapy and meditation practices to address negative attitudes.
During the event, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Bohomolets National Medical University and the Department for Enforcement of Criminal Sentences to coordinate efforts and professional activities for achieving common goals in improving the professional competence of the staff of the Social and Psychological Service.