The Algerian delegation during the visit of the prison service school in Wuppertal
The Algerian delegation during the visit of the prison service school in Wuppertal

From 15 to 19 July 2019, the IRZ received a delegation of the Algerian prison system for expert discussions in Duesseldorf. The trip took place as part of a tandem project between the German Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection which the IRZ has been implementing since 2017 and is running until 2019.

The project targets are, amongst other targets:

  • Supporting the reform process in the Algerian prison system in line with international standards;
  • humanising the prison service in Algeria by implementing human rights principles and international standards in the prison system and 
  • providing support in the reintegration and rehabilitation of prisoners by strengthening the role of civil society and other players involved in the reintegration process.

The last study trip within this project dealt with the topics “cooperation with external players“ and “basic and further training of prison staff”.

During the expert talks in the Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Algerian delegation learned about the structure and organisation of the prison system in NRW. They discussed the German experiences with their hosts, especially regarding the following prison system issues:

  • Social work;
  • staff recruitment;
  • junior staff development;
  • main features of professional transition management in the prison system;
  • probationary service and
  • independent organisations providing assistance for ex-offenders. 

During the practical part of the study trip, the Algerian participants visited the prison service school (JVS) in Wuppertal and the penal institution (JVA) in Remscheid. The focus of the meeting at the JVS was in particular on the school’s basic and further training schemes available for the prison staff. The visit at JVA Remscheid covered the cooperation with external players and the special features of open prisons in Germany. The Algerian guests also had the opportunity to visit the training premises of the prison service school and the workshops, occupational therapy offers, further training areas and sports facilities for prisoners of JVA Remscheid.

The Algerian participants took a very active part in all discussions, asked many questions and also addressed very openly the current problems of the prison system and the envisaged restructuring plans in Algeria.

A final meeting of the two working groups will take place in autumn, together with German experts. It is planned to issue a handbook for the Algerian prison system put together by the working groups as a result of the project.