BUCHAREST, ROMANIA: Ethical leadership in prison facilities promote effective correctional practices that enhance public safety and promote healthier communities worldwide, Peter Van De Sande, President of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), said during the opening ceremonies of the 18th Annual Conference of ICPA held here.
The conference, with the theme: “Correctional Leadership, Engaging Hearts and Minds,” was attended by 474 participants from 75 countries.
Sande stressed that it is incumbent upon government officials to adopt clean and honest prison practices.
The Philippines’ penal system is currently hounded by controversies amid allegations that former Justice secretary Leila De Lima and her bodyguard and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, had received millions from the illegal drugs trade inside the National Bilibid Prison.
Sande stressed that great leaders must engage people, families and friends to become successful, which is the same in running a prison facility.
He said that it must be done with heart and a working mind. These include efforts from “labor managers, policy makers, media, politicians in order to produce better correctional leaders.”
In his statement in the “Beyond the Wall” publication of ICPA, Sande said ICPA’s goal is to promote humane corrections inside prisons. He also stressed the responsibility of the community in accepting prisoners who shall be in need of work and shelter in order to ensure that they will not go back to prison.
“As an association, we are fundamentally convinced of the importance of sharing practice based knowledge as widely as possible. It is at the very heart of the existence of ICPA. It is our mission to promote ethical and effective correctional practices to enhance public safety and healthier communities globally,” Sande said.
He added that the ICPA “strives to contribute substance and meaning to the world of corrections and prisons, from the ambition to be the recognised leader for the advancement of professional and humane corrections and prisons, to contribute to providing solutions for preventing people from offending and from going into prison, to teach correctional professionals how best to treat and manage prisoners and offenders and ex-prisoners in the community.”
The ICPA president said this applies to all correctional professionals globally whatever culture, beliefs and location they are situated in.
“The work is designed to be relevant for all correctional professionals irrespectie of their geographical, linguistic, political and economic divide,” he said.