Our Mission & Vision 2018-06-07T15:11:14+00:00

Our mission

Every person is a part of society.
This is by no means self-evident in a prison.
De Rode Antraciet vzw works on maximum interaction
between prisoners and the outside world.
 
That is the driving force behind De Rode Antraciet vzw
to organise sports and culture
in the prisons of Flanders and Brussels.
As a result prisoners get the opportunity
to commit, self-develop and build social contacts.
 
De Rode Antraciet vzw organises these activities for and with prisoners.
Together with a network of partners it brings oxygen
from the outside world into the prison,
and takes stories and realisations from prison to the outside world.

Our Vision

Every person is a part of society.
This is by no means self-evident in a prison.

De Rode Antraciet vzw makes a strong statement with the opening sentence of her mission. This is not a right that has to be claimed, but for De Rode Antraciet vzw it is an established fact.
De Rode Antraciet vzw also recognizes reality. Living together means that one has to have relationships and emotional connections with others. Every prison is a society on its own in that respect. Prisoners have contact, interaction and encounters with other prisoners, personnel, social workers, and so on. They form a micro society.
But still, outside the prison walls, prisoners are also a part of broad society. Natural possibilities for interaction are limited by means of deprivation of liberty and the traditional prison type.

De Rode Antraciet vzw specializes in working inside the prison context. The organization helps to make the not straightforward possible: a necessary interaction between prisoners and society.

De Rode Antraciet vzw works on maximum interaction
between prisoners and the outside world.

De Rode Antraciet vzw devotes itself to creating maximum two-way traffic between prisoners and society. De Rode Antraciet vzw forms a bridge between people in imprisonment and freedom through her permanent support. Both parties gain from this.

As long as there is exchange with the outside world, prisoners can continue to be part of society as a fully valued person. Contact prevents isolation and alienation during the period of detention and it creates opportunities to find a connection to society (again).

A dignified treatment of prisoners implies that there is an opportunity for interaction with society.

That is the driving force behind De Rode Antraciet vzw
to organise sports and culture
in the prisons of Flanders and Brussels.

De Rode Antraciet vzw brings the outside world to prison by organising sports and cultural activities. This is the core activity of the organisation.

On the one hand De Rode Antraciet vzw focuses on sport. Sport is a universal language. As a physical activity it easily deals with cultural and linguistic differences. Participation to organized sports activities breaks the everyday routine and fulfils the major need for exercise in prisons. Sport as a physical outlet provides relaxation, has a positive influence on health and physical fitness and contributes to the welfare of prisoners and their environment. On top of that, sport is a leverage of social inclusion. It brings people together and gives prisoners the opportunity to be a part of a team or club. It creates a feeling of belonging together and helps prisoners to practice their social and physical skills.

The offer of sporting group activities is wide and reflects trends in society. It includes inside and outside sports such as fitness, fit ball, cross fit, volleyball, football and juggling as well as a fitness initiator course (de Vlaamse Trainersschool), start to run and (pilot) projects on boxing, health and nutrition or exercise on prescription.

On the other hand De Rode Antraciet vzw also focuses on culture, with a conscious emphasis on social-cultural methodology with focus on mankind and society. Encounters and informal learning develop social, cultural and communicative competences. The activities are both based on offer and on demand and are custom made. De Rode Antraciet vzw helps organisations that offer projects and training in the outside world to find their way to the prison population. This causes the outside world to become more accessible to prisoners. De Rode Antraciet vzw also organizes its own cultural activities.

The contemporary offer of cultural group activities reflects what is artistically and creatively going on in society. It includes readings, concerts, plays, film- and cooking evenings, a well-equipped and organized prison library, prison media such as Jail-TV, and Kaffee Détinee where prisoners can talk to free citizens. The social-cultural courses focus on recovery, self-reflection and meaning, aggression control, connectedness and relationships with friends and family.

De Rode Antraciet vzw consequentially strives to offer activities that bring connectedness and empowerment to people. Prisoners can individually start at fit@cel or in the library but this is always a leg up to joining a group activity.

The varied activities of De Rode Antraciet vzw focus on prisoners first. But sometimes the close social environment is also involved, for example family, victims, other prisoners and prison staff.

De Rode Antraciet vzw has ambition to be the face and contact point for sport and culture in every prison in Flanders and Brussels. The organisation claims the role of being in charge of these domains and works continuously to have sport and culture offered in prisons. De Rode Antraciet vzw being responsible for these domains means it has (1) expertise on working in a prison environment, (2) a dynamic and flexible laboratory function, (3) a network inside and outside the prison and (4) a collective vision and mission.

De Rode Antraciet vzw finds expertise in own terrain work as well as in being involved with other existing projects. The organisation is familiar with the current offer of activities, has connections with prisoners and their environment and learns from examples both from home and abroad.

De Rode Antraciet vzw makes sure that service is both dynamic and flexible. The offer of sport and culture is so diverse that the organisation has many opportunities to experiment. The organisation has a laboratory function: for every prison and for the very diverse contexts it looks for and implements an adapted service. It shares its knowledge over the whole field so that insights can be used in multiple projects for the benefit of prisoners and society.

In order to guarantee a sustained activity, De Rode Antraciet vzw is building a network of motivated partners. The relationship with management, staff, prisoners and the wide work field is followed attentively. The goal is a local anchoring with minimal physical presence.

De Rode Antraciet vzw is overarching and guarantees a clear vision, mission and approach, both with respect to content and in practical terms in Flanders and Brussels.

As a result prisoners get the opportunity

to commit, self-develop and build social contacts.

By bringing sport and culture to prisons, De Rode Antraciet vzw creates a refuge where prisoners are not held to mistakes and offences. Prisoners are more than their criminal record. During sporting and cultural activities they are given the opportunity to relax in a pleasant atmosphere and they can express themselves physically and creatively without the boundaries of powerlessness or frustration. De Rode Antraciet vzw creates a humane refuge in the prison environment, where talents and qualities of people are central and prisoners can feel recognized as human beings.
In that safe and relaxed environment prisoners find the mental oxygen to restore faith in themselves and in others. They can work on a positive self-image and a valuable identity perception, for example by developing their talents or strengthening their relationships with others. De Rode Antraciet vzw provides opportunities for prisoners to make a commitment or to take initiative within the framework of its activities. Prisoners voluntarily join sports and cultural activities, but participation is not free of obligations. The activities are an invitation to develop skills, restore relationships and take responsibility for their own life and the lives of others. De Rode Antraciet vzw believes that every person, wherever they may be, can work towards a better life.

De Rode Antraciet vzw is based on rapprochement and social integration. Through sports and culture it invites prisoners to work on their manners and communicative skills. It stimulates prisoners to reflect on the consequences of their offences for the victims, their families, society and themselves. By taking responsibility, they prepare for a new start in society.

De Rode Antraciet vzw has a dynamic vision and guides prisoners in their evolution to desistance. Here, the prisoners themselves stop their criminal behaviour by having a valuable identity perception and a balanced self-image. All sports and culture projects of the organisation reflect this vision. The project ‘Slachtoffer in Beeld – in detentie’ has a special place. This is a profound, recovery focused course that focuses on 3 goals: increasing insight in the consequences of offences for victims, increasing empathy for victims and stimulating the taking of responsibility.

De Rode Antraciet vzw organise these activities for and with prisoners.

 A growing number of De Rode Antraciet vzw initiatives invites prisoners to participate in the developing and the organisation of the sports and culture activities. That participation can have different forms: informing, advising, coproducing or deciding. De Rode Antraciet vzw wants to increase the involvement and input from prisoners in their projects. The organisation underlines the value of a strong involvement from prisoners. By participating they work on self-development and get the opportunity to use their talents and possibilities as women and men.
De Rode Antraciet vzw endorses the “Strategisch Plan Hulp- en Dienstverlening aan gedetineerden 2015-2020”. The organisation devotes itself to the domain specific option “by 2020 prisoners actively participate in the organisation, development and announcing of the offering of assistance and service in prisons”.

Together with a network of partners it brings oxygen
from the outside world into the prison,
and takes stories and realisations from prison to the outside world.

Organisations that offer sports and culture activities in society fulfil a commission to all groups, including members of society who (temporarily) live in prison. These organisations do not lack good will, but often have little experience or contact with the target group. This is where De Rode Antraciet vzw takes a bridging function. As an expert on the crossing of sports and culture on the one hand and the prison environment on the other hand, it operates as a guide so that organisations who offer activities in the outside world can find their way to the prison population.
It is important that sport and culture, libraries, social-cultural work, attention to health and forming of a community from the outside world are connected to prisons. It is the unique way of working that brings extern partners to the prison environment through a structural cooperation with De Rode Antraciet vzw. The social support is increased and the activities these partners offer to prisoners become enduring. At the same time, De Rode Antraciet vzw has ambition to investin the two-way communication and to bring more realisations and stories from prison to the outside world.
De Rode Antraciet vzw consciously chooses to continue working with volunteers and increasing the number of them. It is a part of the responsibility of society and it strengthens contacts between prisoners and the outside world.
Finally, De Rode Antraciet uses her expertise and experience to offer insight to the social debate on society and on people in prison. Through sharing knowledge, sensitizing  and networking with diverse governments and partner organisations it strives towards a further humanising of the prison environment.
De Rode Antraciet vzw endorses the “Strategisch Plan Hulp- en Dienstverlening aan gedetineerden 2015-2020”. The organisation devotes itself to the domain specific option “by 2020 prisoners actively participate in the organisation, development and announcing of the offering of assistance and service in prisons”.