What forms of support can be used by people leaving penitentiary units

Under the Polish legal system, people leaving penitentiary units can benefit from support, which is offered from two sources:


According to the duties imposed on municipalities, one of their tasks is to provide support to people who face difficulties in reintegration after release from prison. Interestingly, the legislator did not specify that this assistance should be provided to persons leaving detention centers, thus narrowing the category of recipients of the activities of Social Assistance Centers.

There are no specific regulations governing how long a person can receive social support after leaving prison. Therefore, the continuation of difficulties in adapting to life outside prison may be the basis for the use of assistance. A key role here is played by social workers, whose job is to support the adaptation process, especially in the vocational and housing aspects.

These people require support in social reintegration and adaptation to new living conditions. Assistance includes material support, counseling, social work and therapy. The main goal of social assistance is to prevent the marginalization of these people, their social isolation and to counteract problems such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
A person serving a sentence of imprisonment in prison is not entitled to social assistance benefits. This right is restored after leaving prison, but requires reapplying for it. The exception is the situation of serving a sentence under the electronic surveillance system, where the sentence is served outside the prison, for example, at home. Temporary detainees have their right to social assistance benefits suspended for the duration of their detention, which is reinstated upon their release.

Catalog of forms of assistance provided by Social Assistance Centers:

Cash benefits:

Non-monetary benefits:

The granting of social assistance benefits follows the following steps:

Submission of an Application for Assistance
The process begins with the submission of an application for aid.
Community Conversation and Assistance Plan
Upon receipt of an application, a community interview is conducted to assess the personal, family, income and asset situation of individuals or families in need of assistance. This interview is usually conducted within 14 working days from the date of notification, and in urgent cases that require immediate intervention, immediately (within 2 working days). The interview can take place at the person's or family's place of residence or at their place of stay. Based on the interview, the social worker analyzes and assesses the situation and makes recommendations for assistance. During the interview, the social worker may ask the person or family to provide a statement of income and assets. Refusal to provide this statement may be the basis for a decision to deny assistance.
Issuance of Administrative Decision
Assistance is provided in the form of an administrative decision. All decisions must be issued in writing, and any decision issued in any other form is considered valid and legally binding.
Implementation of the Decision
Once approved, the aid is implemented. Social assistance cash benefits are usually granted and paid monthly, starting from the month in which the application is submitted with the required documentation. If the benefit entitlement does not cover a full month, the benefit is granted for an incomplete month.
Right to Appeal
Individuals have the right to appeal any decision regarding their social assistance. Appeals can be submitted to the appropriate Local Government Appeal Board in each province.


Financed by the Justice Fund, whose Disposer is the Minister of Justice.
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