The Armenian delegation with Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel (3rd from right) and Wolfgang Eichstädter (centre) from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin
The Armenian delegation with Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel (3rd from right) and Wolfgang Eichstädter (centre) from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin

From 15 to 18 October 2019, the IRZ organised a study trip to Berlin for nine Armenian probation experts from the Ministry of Justice, the public probation service and the Centre for the Implementation of legal Education and Rehabilitation Programmes. Building on a workshop on the Armenian probation system in Yerevan held in May, the aim of this study trip was to give the experts an insight into the German probation system.

A varied programme was put together for this event which had been discussed in May with the Armenian authorities. The Armenian delegation was accompanied by the German experts Wolfgang Eichstädter, former head of the probation and court assistance service and lecturer at Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel, also from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule and former president of the DBH Fachverband für Soziale Arbeit, Strafrecht und Kriminalpolitik e.V. (professional organisation for social work, criminal law and crime policy) throughout their stay in Berlin. Visits to the following institutions were on the agenda:

  • Juvenile detention facility in Berlin: Guided tour and talks with the Head of the Juvenile Detention Service and Judge at the Local Court Jörg Pervelz;
  • Social services of the justice system of Berlin: Presentation of four working areas by Ms. Kekeisen, who is in charge of the control service and HR;
  • Tegel penal institution: Guided tour of different sections and discussions with the social service;
  • Straffälligen- und Bewährungshilfe e.V. Berlin e.V.: (an organisation providing assistance for ex-offenders): Presentation and in-depth discussions covering the importance and function of community service under the law of criminal procedure;
  • Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin: Reception by Chancellor Andreas Flegl and discussions about opportunities for further training and future cooperation.

These visits were reflected on in afternoon workshops at the IRZ in Berlin and were complemented by further topics. The participants discussed, for example, reporting and report structures, the different formats of case conferences among colleagues and client-centred communication skills in lectures, presentations and exercises.

Given the great demand for further training and cooperation in Armenia, the IRZ is planning to continue its support for Armenian institutions in implementing their probation service.