Delegation from Texas in the Czech
Delegation from Texas in the Czech Republic
PRAGUE 7 October (PS CR) - Delegation from Texas in the Czech Republic On Sunday, September 4, five representatives of the Texas correctional system arrived in Prague. Their visit was hosted by the Prison Service of the Czech Republic as a part of its long-lasting mutual cooperation with the Sam Houston State University in Texas. The aims of the visit - learning about the Czech correctional system; visiting prisons; meeting with prison, probation and even Government officials; and in particular, discussing the various differences and unknown details regarding both prison systems – were fully accomplished.
The Texas delegation comprised five persons - Mr. Doug Dretke, Executive Director of the Correctional Management Institute at Sam Houston state University; Mr. Brian Lovins, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Harris County (Houston) Community Supervision and Corrections Department; Mr. Kelly Rowe, Sheriff of Lubbock County, Mr. David Gutierrez, Chairman of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole; and Mr. Jason Heaton, Regional Director with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The professional background of the aforementioned gentlemen ensured all discussions were fruitful and dynamic. During their week-long programme, the Texas representatives had a chance to meet and speak with the top representatives of the Czech justice system, including the Minister of Justice, Mr. Robert Pelikán and Mr. Petr Dohnal, Director General of the Prison Service of the Czech Republic. Apart from meeting the very top management, the delegation also visited many prison facilities. These included Praha-Pankrác Remand Prison with its internal metal workshop, Liberec Remand Prison and adjacent building of the court, and Jiřice Prison launching an “Open Prison” project. The host party did not omit to show the delegation members around the Academy of the Prison Service in Stráž pod Ralskem. During the visit of Liberec, Mr. Brian Lovins, Ph.D, who works in the probation environment, was certainly pleased to meet and discuss the problems of reintegration with Director of the Probation and Mediation Service, Ms. Andrea Matoušková. In the end, it was one busy week full of prison visits, meetings with Prison Service, Probation Service and Government officials. These few days were certainly beneficial to both sides as all of us acquired substantial new knowledge about each other’s correctional system. Thanks to the very open-minded attitude of everyone involved, we can conclude that this visit contributed to each of us not only on a professional level, but also as new friendships were made.