LaBAP seeks to:
- Develop programmes to combat the adverse impact of imprisonment on men, women and minors;
- Further reintegration through a grounding in rules, practices and skills;
- Keeping detainees in touch with the outside world.
Within the prison, sport is a means of escape, promoting solidarity, tolerance, social integration and health. Its practice allows detainees to combat the detrimental effects of detention and reduce its physical and psychological consequences. In its programmes, LaBAP is guided by the fundamental principles of sport - respect for others and adherence to rules, teamwork and fair play, and international and regional human rights instruments.
Sporting activities enable prisoners to learn to respect themselves, others and the rules; to understand the need for effort; to help bring a collective project together; to rediscover and maintain physical and mental condition; and, lastly, to regain confidence by demonstrating the ability to achieve goals. Given as much contact as possible with their families and the outside world, prisoners can build stronger relationships and closer interaction, thereby easing their transition from prison to life on the outside on their release.
Playing sport is a key part of prison life. LaBAP uses football's universal appeal and foortball-playing in prison to make it more of a social tool than a sport, through which women and minors can find a space in which they are free, work together and push themselves to the limit.
The treatment of prisoners should focus not on exclusion but, on the contrary, on the fact that they remain part of society. In organising sporting events LaBAP builds relationships with the outside (families, supporters, friends and so on) and bridges the divide between incarceration and the return to a freedom.
LaBAP supports health promotion in prisons. It formulates a prevention and education policy for health and hygiene in prison establishments. It also makes sure that prisoners are given a health check on arrival and seeks to fight exclusion of prisoners with infectious diseases.
LaBAP provides equipment (sports clothing, footwear, balls) to prison football teams and the staff overseeing the sports activities, and seeks improved sporting amenities in prisons (football pitches, goals, toilet facilities, etc.).
In prison terms reintegration into society means offering psychological, vocational and educational assistance to prisoners through the work opportunities, educational and cultural means and leisure activities available in prison. Reintegration relies notably on the kind of relationship that prison staff and inmates have, and on the measures taken to foster contacts with family, friends and the community.
The reintegration process continues outside prison; former inmates are especially vulnerable in the first six to twelve months after their release. The idea of post-prison reintegration is designed to provide a planned and gradual transition from prison to life on the outside. Families of former prisoners, close friends and the community as a whole have a key role to play in helping them re-join society and rebuild their lives.
LaBAP works on educational programmes in prison establishments, focusing on minors and adults with no qualifications. Gaining educational skills can truly benefit prisoners, both while in custody and after their release.
Vocational training activities can pave the way for prisoners to build their own lives outside prison and steer clear of trouble. LaBAP sets up cooperatives around teams promoting activities that generate income and boost vocational development (making football keyrings, sports equipment like mini goals, dry-cleaning, etc.).
LaBAP sets up drop-in centres for newly released to help them through their first moments of freedom. Having often been treated like children while behind bars and cut off from everyday life, former prisoners can come to the centres for advice and discussion as they take their first steps back into society (return to community life, paperwork, social needs, etc.).
Beneficiaries of LaBAP reintegration programmes receive special attention. National coordinators see to it that inmates they have been following while in prison are given individual assistance. Special efforts are made to pair them up with LaBAP sports partners as they seek stable employment (as players, groundsmen, members of the club equipment maintenance team, instructors, etc.).
Article 10.3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that “The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation.”
With this aim of rehabilitation in mind, Rule 23 of the 2015 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules) points out that “Every prisoner who is not employed in outdoor work shall have at least one hour of suitable exercise in the open air daily if the weather permits. Young prisoners, and others of suitable age and physique, shall receive physical and recreational training during the period of exercise. To this end, space, installations and equipment should be provided.”
The criminal justice system should draw on all rules in international texts on custody so that reintegration can start from day one of a prison sentence, with social rehabilitation, and continue after release.
LaBAP works to keep international and regional human rights bodies abreast of prison conditions and promote the values of sport and development behind prison walls. The authorities are inclined to draw up prison regulations guaranteeing physical, sporting and educational activities in prison as a contribution towards prisoner reintegration.
LaBAP works to reduce the public stigma attached to having spent time in prison. The 12th man have an helpful role to achieve LaBAP's goal. LaBAP organizes in partnership with educational structures, mainly high schools, awareness sessions on the conditions of detention and the societal impact of the prison. LaBAP help those structures in the implementation of project support to the association in the framework of citizenship education. Coverage of prison activities in the national media gives the public another image of prison.