IRZ Head of Section Mohamed Montasser Abidi; Ambassador Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme; Secretary General Younes Jabrane and Hassan Hmina, DGAPR (from left to right)
IRZ Head of Section Mohamed Montasser Abidi; Ambassador Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme; Secretary General Younes Jabrane and Hassan Hmina, DGAPR (from left to right)

On 10 and 11 May 2018, the IRZ together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) organised a seminar on “Professional, vocational and artistic training for prisoners” in Rabat, Morocco. The event took place as part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which the IRZ is coordinating between 2017 and 2019. This project is being financed by the German Foreign Office as part of the Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East.

The seminar was aimed at teaching participants about the potential for training prisoners to ensure their successful reintegration. As a first step, the mechanisms for establishing further training requirements, such as classifying and diagnosing prisoners, were introduced. The seminar continued with a look at training opportunities, the work situation itself and qualifications for prisoners. The participants also learned about local circumstances as far as training is concerned, partnerships with the private sector and the involvement of external parties, for example for the recognition of qualifications.

The event was opened by the Secretary General of the DGAPR, Younes Jabrane, and the German Ambassador in Morocco, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme. The German experts taking part on behalf of the IRZ were Katja Adolph, Head of Employment and Qualification at the Berlin young offenders’ institution, and Mirjam Drechsel, Head of Employment and Qualification at the women’s penal institution in Berlin. The German Foreign Office was represented by the Ambassador, as well as by Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate department at the German Embassy.

The Moroccan government has been reacting to the challenges facing the prison system for several years now and has carried out some serious reforms in this area. Since the establishment of the first training companies five years ago, 56 training companies have now been set up and others are in the planning stage. The number of prisoners benefiting from training has increased from 5,000 to 9,000 in that time.

The participants showed a great deal of interest in the seminar, which was reflected in the large number of questions and feedback on the situation in Morocco. The project will be continued with a study visit to Berlin on the same subject in June 2018.