Visit to the JVA for reintegration in Blida
Visit to the JVA for reintegration in Blida

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.