Correctional Services including Non-custodial Sanctions

Key facts

Programme Operator:
Ministry of Justice
Programme ID:
In implementation
Programme Donors
Council of Europe (CoE)
Date of approval:
Total amount:
EEA Grants fund:
Norway Grants fund:
€ 8,604,400

Currently available funding

Programme Summary

Why is the programme needed? Bulgaria has in recent years made progress in reforming its criminal law and procedures to bring it into conformity with European standards. However, problems regarding overcrowding and conditions in prisons in general need to be tackled to improve the correctional system.   What will the programme achieve? The programme aims to improve the Bulgarian system of correctional services in compliance with the relevant international and European human rights instruments.   How will it be achieved? This will mostly be done through:
  • Refurbishment and development of prison infrastructure; strengthening alternatives to prison; improving prison staff recruitment and training; and increasing treatment and re-socialisation opportunities for prisoners. 
  • Implementation of three pre-defined projects and one small grants scheme. One of the pre-defined projects focuses on refurbishment and development of infrastructure in six buildings (two prisons and one probation office; one training centre; and two prison medical centres). Another aims at increasing the application of alternatives to imprisonment with the main focus on application of electronic monitoring and the third one aims to improve the competences of prison staff in psychological selection and counselling.
  • Implementation of a small grants scheme with focus on programmes for juveniles on probation; vulnerable prisoners; and the development of training curricula for prison staff. 
  How will bilateral relations be strengthened? The Council of Europe (CoE) is a designated Donor Programme Partner (DPP) and also a project partner in two of the pre-defined projects. In cooperation with the DPP, two major public events on judicial reform in Bulgaria including Bulgaria, Norway, and other European countries have been planned.  Further partnerships between Bulgarian and Norwegian entities are also foreseen under the programme.   Who can apply for funding under this programme? Any entity, public or private, commercial or non-commercial and non-governmental organisations, established as a legal person in Bulgaria as well as inter-governmental organisations operating in  Bulgaria can apply for funding under the small grants scheme.