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In an attempt to properly address one of the greatest challenges for prison administrations around the world facing Covid-19, namely, to ensure regular communication between the inmates and their families, the Serbian Penal Administration, supported by German NGO Help e.V, procured the ICT equipment aimed at substituting the in-person visits. The author decided to assess the impact of this pilot project on the right of inmates to communicate with their family members, exploring their attitudes and the attitudes of professionals/prison staff that work with them, to get both perspectives. The results of the research showed that the online communication ensured through the pilot project has significantly contributed to preserving contacts and family relations in the changing environment of the Covid-19 restrictive measures, although it cannot completely replace family visits based on, in-person contact. However, the research also led to some of the remaining obstacles to a wider application of this, substitutive approach, among others, concerning the lack of IT literacy and the both of inmates and their family members, and to the life in poverty and/or in remote country areas. Additionally, this research identified a remaining need for further financial investment in the IT equipment to ensure adequate frequency and duration of communication, but also the need to revise/upgrade an existing treatment approach to integrating modern technologies/IT literacy as tools to contribute to the effectiveness of inmates’ reintegration.
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