In 2021, IRZ continued its successful cooperation with the country's regional probation services in Kosovo. In the course of three online roundtables with changing groups of participants from the regions of Pristina, Prizren, Mitrovica, Peja and Gjilan, a lively and trusting exchange took place. The focus was on alternative measures and penalties in the area of juvenile criminal law.

The first day of each event was dedicated to cross-sectoral cooperation between the judiciary, the public prosecutor's office and the probation service and, in addition to the function and legal basis of the suspended sentence, addressed probation supervision in practice. 

Participants were:

  • judges,
  • public prosecutors,
  • probation officers and

They had the opportunity to take a closer look at current challenges, best practices as well as the interaction of the institutions responsible for alternative measures. 

The second day of the event offered the representatives of the regional probation offices the opportunity for an in-depth and practical discussion on the organisation, role and tasks of probation officers, especially in dealing with juvenile offenders. The focus was on the topics of social reintegration, prevention of recidivism and transition management, taking into account special problem situations such as unemployment, indebtedness, domestic violence or lack of family structures.

From the German side, a team of experts led through the series of events:

  • Senior Public Prosecutor Michael Grunwald, Public Prosecutor's Office of Berlin
  • Public Prosecutor Matthias Betschner, Public Prosecutor's Office of Duisburg 
  • Judge Alexander Conrad, Local Court of Oberhausen 
  • Stefan Thier, Ministry of Justice, Europe and Consumer Protection of the State of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Probation Officer Viola Würffel, Head of Security Management, Social Services of the Judiciary of Berlin

In addition to an intensive and practice-oriented exchange of expertise and experience, the roundtable discussions financed by the Federal Foreign Office made it possible, above all, to create a broader network between probation services, judges and public prosecutors in the various regions. The total of six days of events were characterised by lively and committed discussions and met with a very positive response from all participants.