Participants in the seminar
Participants in the seminar

On 4 and 5 September 2018, the IRZ in cooperation with the Jordanian prison authority organised a seminar on the “Classification of prisoners and enforcement plans” and the “Involvement of external parties representing the state and civil society in the social reintegration process”. This seminar took place as part of a Transformation partnership project on judicial training as a stabilising element of the rule of law in Jordan, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2019.

The IRZ has maintained a very close and trusting working relationship for several years now with the Correction and Rehabilitation Centres Department at the Jordanian police, which ensured that this seminar took place in the usual pleasant and open working atmosphere. The seminar was opened by the newly appointed Director General of the Jordanian prison authority, Brigadier Ayman Al Awaysheh, who also participated throughout the entire event.

The following German representatives reported on the practices of the Berlin prison system:

  • Johanna Schmid, Department III Law Enforcement at the Berlin Senate for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination, and
  • Benjamin Horn, a social worker at the Berlin young offenders’ institution (criminal field: Admissions department - diagnosis).

The representatives from the Jordanian side were:

  • Colonel Ahed Al Sharaydeh, Director of the Training Institute for Jordanian penal institutions and
  • Major Ghazi Al Maaliah, Trainer at the Training Institute.

Over two working days, the participants discussed practical issues from the Jordanian and German point of view, with regard to the classification of prisoners and the development of enforcement and integration plans, as well as the involvement of external parties in the social reintegration process. Particular attention was paid to the question of dealing with religiously radicalised prisoners and preventing radicalisation in prisons, since this is a topic that has become increasingly significant in the German prison system as well.

Participants from the Jordanian prison system included the director of the Jordanian prison authority, the heads of Jordanian detention facilities and the director and employees of the training academy for Jordanian penal institutions. The state agencies involved in the social reintegration process were represented by people from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Parties not representing the government included representatives from the following institutions:

  • the Jordanian National Centre for Human Rights,
  • the national association supporting detention facilities,
  • the cultural association for the follow-up care of released prisoners and
  • the society for occupational training.

The existing cooperation between the Jordanian prison authority and non-governmental parties from civil society in the social reintegration process can definitely be expanded to cover a wider basis. All those involved took part in lively, constructive and open discussions on both days of the seminar, which led to numerous ideas for closer collaboration in future.