Training in dealing with prisoners with mental disorders, violence and/or addiction problems

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

In cooperation with the Jordan Public Security Directorate (PSD), IRZ organised a four-day online training course within the period from 31 May to 9 2021 on "Dealing with prisoners with mental disorders or with violence and/or addiction problems".

The Director of the PSD's International Cooperation Department, Ali Alutoum, chaired the event for prison officers who are in direct contact with the prisoners concerned and act as their contact persons. The training course was aimed at teaching the specific social and communication skills to be able to fulfil this role. The topics discussed during the event were:

  • Classification of inmates with regard to mental disorders, addiction and/or violence problems
  • Preparation of enforcement and integration plans
  • Step-by-step concept for reintegration
  • Special challenges in dealing with addiction problems
  • Conflict management and communication
  • Typical psychiatric disorders in prisons
  • Possible effects of inmates' mental disorders on prison staff and how they deal with them
  • Balance between safety and treatment
  • De-escalation measures for prison staff
  • Managing prison release
  • Roles and cooperation of members of psychiatric and psychological services, social workers and law enforcement

The following experts participated in the online training on behalf of IRZ:

  • Steffi Lindemann, a psychologist at the Berlin young offenders’ institution,
  • Alexander Grundlach from the central addiction department of the Berlin young offenders’ institution,
  • Janet Juvet, a specialist in psychiatric care at the Hameln prison, and
  • Esther Chan, a graduate psychologist and head of the psychological department at the Wuppertal-Ronsdorf prison.

They provided the participants with detailed insights into dealing with the aforementioned group of people and provided comprehensive information on prison conditions and enforcement plans, as well as on non-violent communication. The experts emphasised the great importance of cooperation between psychological services, social workers and the prison service. They also went into detail about the training of prison staff in Germany.

The lively discussions and exchange between all participants during the event show that the topic is of great interest to the Jordanian prison system. IRZ therefore aims to continue the cooperation in this area.

This event took place within the framework of the institutional funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).