Our Voice Matters: Including People with Lived Experience in System Change in Criminal Justice

Duration: 1. 4. 2022 – 31. 3. 2024

Places of implementation: Branches of RUBIKON Centrum, primarily a branch in Ostrava

Donor: The project is being supported by the Committee of Good Will – the Olga Havel Foundation from the Active Citizens Fund. The programme promotes citizens’ active participation in the public life and decision making and empowerment of vulnerable groups. The Active Citizens Fund is financed from EEA and Norway Grants.

Aim of the project: Aim of the project: To verify the use of the concept of empowering a disadvantaged group of people with a criminal history and their involvement in policy making and promoting systemic change in penal affairs and criminal justice.

Summary: The project is based on the belief that the target group of people with a criminal history has a unique expertise based on lived experience. This lived experience can bring a new perspective to defend their needs and provide inspiration for a more effective setting of the system of work with the target group. The concept of client involvement at the level of influencing the system is still in its infancy in the Czech Republic, it is not used at all in prisons and criminal justice.

As part of the project, we will build on our existing activities to support and empower people with a criminal history in order to create the conditions for the involvement of the target group in advocacy activities and taking into account the lived experience in policy-making in penal affaires and criminal justice.

We will achieve the purpose of the project through a complex of activities that will focus on:

– developing the involvement of the target group within the RUBIKON Centrum and taking these principles into account in our internal regulations and processes,
– increasing the competencies of selected representatives of the target group to participate in advocacy activities,
– involvement of the target group in policy making and systemic change,
– sharing good practice in involving the target group and increasing the motivation of the professional public to hear the voice of people with lived experience.

We will gain good practice to empower the target group from the Norwegian partner organization Wayback, which consists exclusively of people with lived experience and which operates both in the field of direct care and advocacy activities. Partnership with the Association of Organizations Working in Penal Affaires (AOOV) and cooperation with the Yellow Ribbon Run platform also play an important role in sharing good practice and disseminating outputs.

Project activities:

A1 Strengthening capacities to involve people with lived experience in systemic change and PR

  • Workshop with a Norwegian partner for RC employees: how to effectively and sensitively involve the target group in advocacy work (15 participants).
  • Workshop for RC employees in an organization-wide meeting: sharing experiences and learning about a new approach to CS involvement (40 participants).
  • Modification and creation of internal rules with regard to the involvement of CS.
  • Targeted support of the AOOV partner, AOOV members and other stakeholders in the form of consultations.

A2 Mapping good practice of target group involvement and creation of a prototype of an educational program and further professional support for people with criminal history

  • Collecting good practice and suggestions of the target group in the Czech Republic and abroad, focus group with people with lived experience and experts for collecting suggestions for the educational program.
  • Creation of a prototype of an educational program focused on the development of competencies and knowledge needed for advocacy work, including a system of additional professional support for the target group through regular intervision and supervision meetings.

A3 Implementation and evaluation of a pilot educational program for people with criminal history

  • Selection and recruitment of suitable participants in the program.
  • Implementation of a pilot basic educational program in the range of 40 hours + further support and development of the target group. 10 people from the target group will enter the educational program, min. 5 people will successfully complete the basic program and participate in intervision and supervision meetings.
  • Evaluation of the basic educational program and further education, finalization of the portfolio and elaboration of the program toolkit.

A4 Involvement of people with criminal history in policy making and systemic change and public awareness

  • Systematic support and development of participation and involvement of the target group in advocacy activities and public awareness. Min. 5 people with lived experience will be involved in advocacy activities within the organization (commenting on proposals, strategies and policies, political lobbying, including personal meetings with politicians) as well as advocacy activities, professional meetings and output creation of the AOOV partner. They will also be involved in working groups and advisory bodies at local or national level, active participation in the media, on social networks and at events for the professional public.

A5 Publicity of the project and dissemination of project outputs

  • Introduce at least 50 unique people from the professional public to the good practice and outputs of the project through kick-off seminar, 2 workshops and a final seminar.
  • Sharing good practice and project outputs with the partner AOOV and its member organizations.
  • Informing min. 70 people from the professional public about good practice and project outputs through min. 4 rounds of direct mailing.
  • Raising awareness of the general public about the topic, the project and the donor through 3 press releases, media outlets, the web and social networks of RC, AOOV and YRR.

A6 Organizing a Norwegian partner involvement

  • Wayback was chosen as a partner with regard to its unique expertise and experience in engaging clients. The cooperation will be beneficial for both parties, it will consist in the exchange of information and know-how and the sharing of practice in Norway and the Czech Republic. This is a cross-cutting activity closely related to the implementation of activities 1-5. The cooperation will be ensured by a combination of continuous on-line communication and 3 visits of a Norwegian partner in the Czech Republic connected with conducting workshops (A1, A5), participation in educational program (A3) and presentation at kick-off and final seminars (A5).

Registration number: 0015/2021/ACF/4

Implementer: RUBIKON Centrum, z. ú.

Marek Demner
+420 773 797 606
[email protected]


Wayback – Norwegian partner with a financial contribution
Association of Organizations Working in Penal Affaires (AOOV) – partner without financial contribution