Rákospalota Correctional Institute and Central Special Children’s Home – Greetings from the Director

The special activities of the Rákospalota Correctional Institute and Central Special Children’s Home are based on the one hand on historical traditions, on the other hand on past decades’ and the recent years’ professional upgrading aspirations. The three main activities of the institution, the reformatory education, the pre-trial detention of juvenile offenders and the special children's home care, have different pasts.

The history of Rákospalota Correctional Institute is over 125 years, it was opened in 1890. In 1995, the legal path of the pre-trial detention of juvenile offenders was opened. In 2006, the institution was given the opportunity to – in its aims and instruments similar, however still showing differences – operate special children’s home. The institution ensures the opportunity of aftercare. It is ensured mainly for girls freed from the correctional part, but in some cases for those freed of pre-trial detention or dismissed of special children’s home, and have already reached the age. Since November 2016, the institution can ensure placement for four mothers together with their four children by operating a special department.
The girls living in the institution struggle with deviances, behavioural disorders, psychological problems, drug use. At the same time approximately sixty girls live in the institution, on the average for two years.
According to our aims, we try through correctional, personalized education to compensate for deficiencies in their socialisation, failed sense of success, in order to make them finish their school, to teach some basic things of everyday life. Our basic aim is to support their continuing schooling, to finish school or to get some kind of qualification.
At the same time, we strive to compensate for lost experiences in childhood, to show some alternatives for spending free time in a better way, to make them realise the joy of creative work. We try to make our girls process all that took place till their coming here, for the sake of their becoming able to choose other ways. We believe, if the state of their personality is considered elemental, then common goal can be achieved within an institution of several profiles.
In the case of girls coming into our institution, several times can be recognised the scientific fact, that earlier victim-status stands behind the different deviant behaviours in the case of wrong doers, perpetrators, and youngsters struggling with behavioural problems. For the majority of girls, the insufficient family background, some kind of unprocessed trauma define the life of all of them, their socialisation, psychological state, through them their behaviour.
The base of our programme is the structured, therapeutic institutional operation. Our main aim is to educate, develop their social skills, intensive part of it is strengthening social connections, communal activities, and different cognitive-behavioural programmes.
Out of our different methods, experiental education, art-therapy, animal-assisted therapy, art and craft and sport programmes should be highlighted.
In our institution mostly pedagogues, colleagues of social qualification, psychologists, qualified child-supervisors work. Their work is supported by colleagues ensuring the smooth operation of the institution. It must be highlighted that our supporters are universities, other educational institutions, volunteers of different fields and churches.
Through our homepage you can have a look into our institution. You can read about the history of the institution, about the present situation. We give a review of the results of our educational work, professional experiences. A picture is given of everyday life of those living and working here, as well as programmes and events.
We hope that the pages published here can serve you with useful information.

András Szim director