Project Description

Without rehabilitation programmes and support network, Macedonia’s ex-prisoners face quick return to jail

Ruzica Fotinovska

Macedonia’s prisons are amongst the worst anywhere, as recent European and State Department reports have attested.

In spite of that, prisoners routinely reoffend in order to be sent back to these grim places because as ex-prisoners they have no place in society – no other option.

Using a human example, the story asks why there is such a high rate of reoffending in Macedonia – what can be done about it and whether anything will be done about it?

The author explores a number of arguments related to the stigmatisation of ex-convicts: employment prospects; access to housing; society’s attitudes to ex-convicts, including families (do they accept ex-prisoners back into the fold and if not, why not?); the lack of rehabilitation programmes and probation officers (officials tasked with monitoring ex-prisoners).

The story follows the consequences of this combination of discrimination on one hand and neglect on the other.

It investigates the impact of this phenomenon (failure to rehabilitate) in terms of: drug addiction; crime; black marketeering, suicides and mental illness; constantly growing prison population (putting more pressure on facilities).

The story compares and contrasts the experience of other countries (Great Britain) where there is more investment in rehabilitation and in the probation service.

What are the trends and what hope is there of Macedonia adopting a more successful and pro-active approach?

Article style: Feature

Fellow Bio


Ruzica Fotinovska

Ruzica Fotinovska is a reporter on the daily Macedonia newspaper Vest, covering social affairs, politics and public policy

Fellowship Article

Shunned by their families and unable to access formal rehabilitation programmes, many former prisoners in Macedonia quickly reoffend and end up back where they started.


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