- Published: October 5, 2018
On 25 and 26 September 2018, a working group meeting was held in Algiers on the subjects “Cooperation with external parties in prisons” and “Training prison staff”. The event was held as part of the IRZ project to support the reform of the Algerian prison system, which is being carried out between 2017 and 2019 using funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.
Representing the German side at the event were the following experts:
- Andreas Illerhaus and Rudolf Baum, North Rhine-Westphalia Law Enforcement, and
- Kai Abraham and Alexander Gundlach, Berlin Law Enforcement.
During the workshop, the experts were given the opportunity to visit the El-Harrach prison in Algiers and the training facilities for Algerian law enforcement. The El-Harrach prison is the largest penal institution in Algeria and the only one in the urban district of Algiers.
The focus of the visit was on support and training options for prisoners. The involvement of external parties plays a crucial role here. And so the Algerian prison system has developed comprehensive partnership programmes with various ministries, including the Ministries of Education, Health and Employment. This has allowed reintegration measures to be built up significantly.
The position is somewhat more difficult with regard to the involvement of civil society in the prison system. Further efforts are required here when it comes to raising awareness amongst non-governmental organisations of the specific features and problem areas concerning law enforcement.
The subject “Further training of prison staff” was brought to light by a visit to the prison service school. The school was praised by the German experts, who found it to be extremely modern and complying with international standards. The Algerians were particularly interested in the selection of prison service staff, as well as the development of training courses.
There were intense and open discussions between the German and Algerian representatives. The Algerian partners were very interested in learning about the German system and getting ideas for their own reform process. The subject will be looked at in more detail at a second meeting due to take place this year.
Algerian delegation visit Düsseldorf and the North Rhine-Westphalia region to learn about the prison system
- Published: July 20, 2018
From 9 to 13 July 2018, the IRZ welcomed a delegation from the Algerian prison system on a visit to Düsseldorf. This study visit took place as part of a tandem project on the prison system organised jointly by the German Foreign Office and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, which is running from 2017 to 2019.
The main focus of the visit was on the “Admission of prisoners” and “Individual enforcement plan and classification”. This continued the discussions in Germany that had begun during a workshop held in Algeria in May 2018 on the same subject.
As well as expert discussions at the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region, the programme also included a visit to three penal institutions (JVA Düsseldorf, JVA Gelsenkirchen and JVA Hagen).
During the meeting at the Ministry, the structure and organisation of the prison system in the NRW region was presented, including key figures and developments. At the penal institutions in Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen, the main focus was on “Access and admissions procedures”. Here, the entire procedure, from arrival at the penal institution to accommodation in prison cells, was presented and discussed. There was a particular focus on admission interviews and the administrative registration and evaluation of prisoner information. They also went into detail on the role of the department and professional services. At the prison in Hagen, the main focus was on the classification and admission of prisoners, which was explained during a tour of the institution. During the subsequent expert discussions, outstanding issues were discussed and the various ways of dealing with the enforcement plan of prisoners were presented.
The Algerian participants seemed extremely interested and asked a lot of questions. Since major reforms in the area of admissions and classification are planned in Algeria, the guests made the most of their stay in Germany to collect impressions and ideas for the upcoming restructuring.
The discussions on these subjects are set to continue in the autumn with a working session in Algiers.
- Published: May 8, 2018
On 7 and 8 May 2018, the first working group meeting was held as part of the IRZ project to support the reforms of the Algerian prison system. The main focus was on the “Humane treatment of prisoners upon admission” and “Individual enforcement plan and classification”. From 2017 until 2019, the project is being supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
To ensure that the project is led in a practice-oriented and needs-based way, the decision was made to establish four working groups. These will develop handbooks and recommendations for the Algerian prison system throughout the course of the project.
On the first day, the members of the working groups visited two penal institutions, where they were given an insight into the closed prisons for male and female prisoners and the medical department. On the second day, the focus was on working in small groups. On the subject of admission, the humane treatment of prisoners during the admission process was discussed in particular. This was mainly about the collection, administrative registration and evaluation of prisoner information and the role of medical and psychological staff in this context. On the subject of the classification of prisoners, the focus of conversation was on diagnosis and the related establishment of an enforcement plan.
The German experts supporting the working groups were Dr. Stefan Cassone and Ralf Teschner from the Law Enforcement department for North Rhine-Westphalia, and Kai Abraham and Dr. Steffen Bieneck from the Berlin Law Enforcement department.
Both the Algerian and the German participants took part in lively discussions and were extremely interested in more in-depth exchanges. The project will be continued with a study visit to Düsseldorf on the same subjects in July 2018.