Váltó-sáv Alapítvány
(Change-Lanes Foundation)
Postal address: 1087 Budapest, Könyves Kálmán krt. 76.
Tel.: +36/70-424-9760
web:    www.valtosav.hu
e-mail: alapitvany@valtosav.hu
professional executive: Mercedes Mészáros



„You are in constant change, everybody and everything is changing.”


Change-Lanes Foundation is a non-governmental organization supporting the social and labour market reintegration of all people involved in criminality in any ways, i.e. people under or after detention, criminals and their relatives. The essence of our activities can best be described as continuous aftercare and throughcare (we are contacting our clients already in the punishment institution and later follow up by providing help in the traumatic period just before, under or after their discharge.  We also operate a civil support system. We are convinced and our experience supports that by establishing a safe human/supporting/civil relationship already inside the punishment institution, by gaining and stabilising trust, by providing ongoing emotional safety and by receiving help from a concerned community, we can build the corner stones of mitigating pre-, and post-discharge crisis and of recidivism prevention.
Our program started in 1997 within the framework of another organisation at that time. In August 2002 we started working as an independent organisation. The Foundation was registered on 24.09.2002.

Main activities:
Change-Lanes Foundation is striving to achieve the following goals:

  • support the social and labour market (re)integration of people in any phases of criminal prosecution (people in preliminary or normal detention or ex-prisoners),
  • crime prevention (primary, secondary, tertiary) – organize and host informative or preventive talks,
  • recidivism prevention (tertiary criminal prevention),
  • provide continuous (after)care,
  • establish and operate a civil support system
  • social reintegration: to support the removal or transformation of prison socialization,
  • life coaching,
  • support the rehabilitation and reintegration of criminals and addicts, particularly young adults; health development, health education;
  • support the target group in overcoming socio-cultural disadvantages,
  • provide a social information service for the client group and their relatives,
  • manage and treat personal psycho-social problems in the target group; mental hygienic care,
  • support and develop problem and conflict management skills,
  • provide education/training programs, or to support participation in such programs –  particularly to help finish secondary school studies and prepare for matura exams,
  • support the identification and development of individual talents,
  • organise and maintain special supportive,  problem-solving groups in order to support social (re)integration,
  • involve young adult ex-criminals in the aftercare, to support their training for such jobs and tasks,
  • family care,
  • decrease prejudice
  • organize professional meetings and coordinate the exchange of methods and techniques,
  • consultation and help for non-governmental organizations and professionals working in this field,
  • methodology and research work in the field of deviancy and its forms of treatment, especially in relation to a criminal lifestyle,
  • organize free-time and community activities,
  • help in solving the accommodation problems of the client group, by operating the so-called “half-way” flat program,
  • to sum it up:  social work with young criminals under prosecution or serving their punishment.

I receive help from you during each lesson, because you are not only teaching but also watching my life in here. Talking is really good, it soothes me, calms me down because it helps me forget this place – even if for just a short thirty minutes.”

The different projects of Change-Lanes Foundation:
Inside punishment institutions:

  • preparation for discharge (Focusing on Freedom: preparation for discharge)
  • training program for contemporary/peer helpers (accredited training program)

Inside punishment institutions and following discharge:

  • Change Program (a unified training program for secondary school studies and supportive professions for people under and after detention)
  • social work in punishment procedures and after discharge
  • Competence development 
  • Change-Lanes Information Base (to collect and store relevant information for the target group, their relatives and experts working in the field)
  • Relative Group (organized on the last Friday of each months)
  • Combatting Discrimination

After discharge:

  • „Job coaching” – giving or finding employment for ex-prisoners and keeping them in their jobs
  • Halfway flat program (help in accommodation problems)

„It can definitely be felt that you are not faking your attitude when coming to us, but are actually interested in our problems and opinions.”

„And it was not so that you came in behaving as if we were dangerous criminals and you were forced to come here, but you came as people to people, humans to human. In a humane way.” 

Basic figures:

  • 2010: 431 people (81 ex-prisoners, 350 under detention)
  • 2011: 442 people (174 ex-prisoners, 273 under detention)
  • 2012: 896 people (207 ex-prisoners, 689 under detention)
  • 2013: 1384 people (353 ex-prisoners, 931 under detention)


Our colleagues and fellow-workers: at present 10 people are working for the Foundation as employees, further 6 working as contractors. Concerning their qualifications there are social workers, social policy-makers, criminologists, psychologists, secondary school teachers, experts with BA degree and a trained narcologist.

Financing: since the beginning of our operation most of the income source of our foundation has been provided mainly by different tenders, which means that we have no fix income and receive no state normatives.

Our comprehensive projects operating at the moment:
 „INNO-VÁLTÓ” (Inno-Change):  an innovative, experimental employment program for people under and after detention        (TÁMOP -1.4.3-12/1-2012-0155)
Magdolna Club for socially handicapped women
The organization and operation of talent management workshops
Drug prevention programs (Állampuszta, Budapest Punishment Institute, Sopronkőhida)
Halfway flat program, Change-Lanes Information Base, Change Program






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