The Vera Institute of Justice, funded by the Prison Law Office, facilitated a project whose aim was to coordinate discussions between American and European policymakers about successful corrections policies and practices in the respective countries. The Colorado Department of Corrections was honored to be one of 3 state correctional teams to participate in this project. The teams spent 3 days in Germany and 3 days in the Netherlands in which much time was spent collaborating with Corrections officials to determine the practices of the respective countries and discussing best practice efforts. The significant differences in cultures affect not only the way the offenders are managed, but also the crimes that are committed in European countries. These variables were fascinating to the American Correctional counterparts as we explored the means by which European offenders are sentenced, managed during incarceration and reintegrated into their communities. The various American state agencies came back with innovative strategies to evolve the management of offenders in the United States – even to the point of challenging century old philosophies of imprisonment.

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