Five editions of the Course on Managing Destructive Emotions were held between February and March, targeting the penitentiary staff from institutions across Sicily. 

Three editions took place in Palermo at the “Pagliarelli” Penitentiary, and two in Catania at the “Piazza Lanza” Penitentiary. They involved prison guards, inspectors, superintendents, and directors, as well as legal and administrative officers and educators from institutions for both minors and adults in Palermo, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Sciacca, Termini Imerese, Trapani, Caltagirone, Messina, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Giarre, Ragusa, Siracusa, Augusta, as well as from UIEPE and USMM. 

The course was met with great enthusiasm and active participation from the learners. They appreciated both the topics covered and the adopted methodologies, which were circular and experiential in nature, allowing for a deep level of opinion exchange and sharing among personnel from different areas within the penitentiary world. 

The focus was on recognizing, being aware of, and accepting our emotions, and self-change as a prerequisite to modify our way of interacting with others and to nurture a reservoir of serenity useful for facing life’s challenges. Various topics were addressed during the sessions, including studies and theories on emotions, assertive communication, and body relaxation techniques. It was confirmed during the courses how the knowledge of techniques for managing destructive emotions and the interaction with colleagues from different facilities can bring great benefits to those in a draining and high-stress job like that of the penitentiary environment.