Two seminars on prison management issues held in Marrakesh and Tangier

Participants and speakers at the seminar on “The humane treatment of prisoners in Moroccan prisoners” in Tangier
Participants and speakers at the seminar on “The humane treatment of prisoners in Moroccan prisoners” in Tangier
Morocco

As part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, the IRZ organised two seminars, which took place from 3 to 6 March 2020 in Marrakesh and from 10 to 11 March 2020 in Tangier. The project is being supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and has been managed by the IRZ in close cooperation with the Moroccan General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) since 2017. The main objectives of the project are to protect human rights and guarantee the respect of these rights in the prison system. As a result of the partnership between DGAPR and IRZ, a handbook will be produced outlining the main subjects of prison management, including the rights and obligations of prisoners and the structure of reintegration measures. As far as the implementation of the planned reforms in the prison system is concerned, the main challenges faced by DGAPR in Morocco at present include the insufficient general financial situation and low salaries for all those working in the prison system.

The project is taking a regional approach to allow as many as possible DGAPR officials from the different regions of Morocco to take part in the events. The seminar on “Professional, vocational and artistic training for prisoners” was therefore held in Marrakesh, whilst the seminar on the “Humane treatment of prisoners in Moroccan prisons” took place in Tangier.

Seminar on “Professional, vocational and artistic training for prisoners” in Marrakesh

This seminar was attended by IRZ experts Katja Adolph, Head of Employment and Qualification at the Berlin young offenders’ institution, and Nicole Wolter, Head of Gardening at the same institution. The seminar provided support for DGAPR’s main reform steps in the implementation of their strategy for the reintegration of prisoners. This should lead to prisoners being provided with support for their reintegration through professional training and education. These training opportunities should enhance the capacities of prisoners to get a job after their release from prison. First of all, prisoners need to be classified and diagnosed individually to establish the actual requirements for training and education. Of course, the needs of the employment market also need to be taken into account, for example by using IT resources. Ideally, these should be the main focus of topical and future-oriented training and education measures in prisons. Prisons should work closely with external representatives of civil society and with the public sector when developing the training measures and to ensure that the qualifications achieved are recognised.

Seminar on the “Humane treatment of prisoners in Moroccan prisons” in Tangier

The experts speaking at this seminar were Dr. Angelika Burghardt-Kühne, a qualified psychologist working at the JVA Heidering prison, and Mike Jahncke, Head of Law Enforcement at the Plötzensee prison. As part of a series of events (Seminar in Tétouan on human rights standards in prisons), the seminar dealt with the psychotherapeutic care of prisoners. To improve this kind of care, special areas should be set up in the penal institutions. The objective here should be to provide vulnerable and high-risk prisoners with suitable professional support and to ensure that humane treatment for these special groups is maintained after they are transferred to normal prison areas. During the seminar, Dr. Angelika Burghardt-Kühne emphasised the importance of providing prison officers with regular further training, focussing in particular on those prisoners with mental illnesses. She said that it was extremely important to diagnose the behaviour of prisoners as early as possible. That’s also why the drill for emergency situations should be a central component of the training for law enforcement officers in general.

Closing conference for the legal and forensic medicine project in Rabat

Participants and speakers at the closing conference in Rabat with the German Ambassador, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme
Participants and speakers at the closing conference in Rabat with the German Ambassador, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme
Morocco

On 10 December 2019, the IRZ, in partnership with the Moroccan Public Prosecutor’s Office, organised a closing conference for the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco in the field of legal and forensic medicine, with particular consideration paid to the concerns of the Moroccan justice system” project. The IRZ coordinated this project between 2017 and the end of this year as part of the project financed by the German Foreign Office (Transformation Partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East).

The celebratory ceremony was opened with a speech by the German Ambassador, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme.

Speaking as experts at the conference on behalf of the IRZ were Christof Lehmkühler, Detective Chief Inspector at the State Office of Criminal Investigations in Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Hansjürgen Bratzke, a former Director of the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the University Hospital of Frankfurt am Main. Around 35 Moroccan representatives from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Gendarmerie Royale, the Sûreté Nationale and legal and forensic medicine took part in the event.

Following on from the welcome speeches, there was an exchange of experiences on various subjects, which had been covered during this project. These included the cooperation between the judiciary, legal and forensic medicine and the police as well as the draft legislation for a professional code for forensic scientists. This draft legislation, which has been put to Parliament for approval, was discussed in in great detail, since the IRZ has provided valuable support in drawing up this legislation with several expert talks throughout the project.

The project has achieved the following objectives:

  • support for independent legal and forensic medicine in Morocco by providing continued legal training and education for forensic scientists
  • further training for judges and public prosecutors on the potential of legal and forensic medicine in law enforcement
  • support for the development of a professional code for forensic scientists. The draft legislation for this is due to be approved this year.

Two seminars on “Governance – communications and planning strategies” in Rabat

During the seminar
During the seminar
Morocco

The third and fourth seminars on “Governance – communications and planning strategies” were held together during a three-day event from 26 to 28 November 2019 in Rabat. The seminars were part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2020. The IRZ once again cooperated with the Moroccan General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) for both seminars.

Over the three-day event, the seminar focussed on subjects concerning the organisation of prison management. To begin with, speakers from both countries presented the main aspects of their own prison management systems, including the legal foundations and the main objectives of law enforcement. In both countries, these include public safety and the reintegration of prisoners. The cooperation between the regulatory authorities and prisons is about maintaining a balance between independence and supervision. In Germany, there is a control procedure with agreed targets to structure the organisation and management of work within prisons. The regional authorities of the DGAPR in Morocco, on the other hand, reflect the structure of the central administration in Rabat.

On the second day of the seminar, the participants discussed the interaction between various factors when it comes to ensuring internal and external security in a prison. One of the problems encountered both in Germany and in Morocco is the lack of staff to look after the prisoners.

The third day of the seminar focussed on the planning and implementation of basic and further training for prison staff and prisoners. The prison system in both countries offers extensive opportunities for professional training and leisure activities to support the reintegration of prisoners into society. Prison officers and their supervisory authorities receive further training on a wide range of subjects covering legal matters, safety and social and educational subjects.

The civil servants from the central and regional administration authorities and from the administration departments of prisons also discussed the classification of particularly dangerous prisoners and established the basic similarities between prison structures in Morocco and Germany. Seminars planned for 2020 will deal with these subjects in more detail and work on specific recommendations for a handbook.