"Education behind bars abroad"

The Foundation  "Educatie achter buitenlandse tralies" (Eabt) or "Education behind bars abroad" is a voluntary organisation that was founded in 2004 in succession to the project "Study and reintegration of Dutch citizens after detention abroad", as executed from 2002 till 2004 with subsidy from the European Social Fund under the responsibility of the Dutch Probation Service. 

Worldwide, in more than 90 countries, in all about 2600 Dutch citizens are detained. Sometimes for a few weeks or months; often for many, sometimes tenths of years. After their release they return to the Netherlands, where they have to resume the thread. During their time spent in foreign detention, they receive assistance from the International Office of the Dutch Probation Service and the local Dutch Embassy, to help them prepare for reintegration in our society.

More so than the average Dutchman, offenders have leaning arrears. Some of them can hardly read or write Dutch. They do no reach the level of elementary school. Most of them never had a vocational training. Therefore, there is hardly any chance of real participation in society and more specifically on the labour market. 

Something can be done about this! Already during the detention period; even if this is abroad. In advance of the return to the Netherlands and at the request of the Dutch Probation Service, the Stichting "Educatie achter buitenlandse tralies" provides a special form of distance education with counselling for Dutch detainees abroad who are motivated to take this opportunity, in order to reduce the arrears and increase the chances of social reintegration.

What is so special about it is that Eabt acts in close cooperation with educational institutes in the Netherlands, the International Office of the Dutch Probation Service and the Dutch Embassies abroad. But also that prison governors and authorities all over the world have given permission for and collaborate in delivering study material to the prison and enable to send homework assignments hence and forth. Moreover, the form of homework supervision is geared to the circumstances of being detained. The homework assignments are not just marked, but the participants are given advice and moral support in order to maintain studying under these difficult circumstances.