Management of cultural diversity within penitentiary contexts through transformative learning processes
Francesca Torlone, Francesca Bianchi
Cultural and religious pluralism require the development of a “models of coexistence” that combine the rules of reception with the rules of belonging, favoring mutual recognition in respect of diversity and fundamental rights in everyday life.
This theme concerns also the penitentiary system because of the number of foreign inmates coming from different nationalities (33% of the total number of detainees that are in Italian prisons, year 2019). Foreign inmates are bearers of cultures, values, beliefs, practices, that are not always known or recognized by the detention context.
Diversity Management represents a model that combine security needs with educational needs, helping both professionals and institutions to develop the ability to cope with diversity. Diversity Management also helps to modify individual behaviors and to develop institutional and organizational culture.
The role of institutional actors, which are close to inmates, is relevant: they oversee security tasks but also functions of integration, growth, setting and recognition of people in detention.
The detention institution is called on changing into an environment that promotes:
• the understanding of problems encountered by professionals while working;
• the creation of learning processes through which individuals may produce knowledge and behaviors, that help to improve work practices and transform work contexts.
Through an increased knowledge of the penitentiary context, researchers elaborated and shared a hypothesis of an experiential, participatory and situated training course with the insider groups involved.
The initial introductory meeting will be focused on diversity management issues. The Course will follow a path aimed at sharing experiences among the Italian and foreign institutions and participants (benchmarking visit).
The critical professional situations of the institution will be analyzed in order to elaborate specific improvement actions, which will be implemented in the penitentiary contexts.
Professionals coming from three penitentiary institutions in Perugia, Pisa, Prato. Minimum number of participants: 12.
6 CFU (48 hours)
November 2019 – May 2020
A certificate of participation will be issued by the University of Siena at the end of the activities.