Participants and speakers at the seminar in Rabat
Participants and speakers at the seminar in Rabat

On 11 and 12 December 2018, the IRZ, together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), organised a first seminar on “Governance – Communication and Planning Strategies” in the Moroccan capital Rabat. The event was held as part of the project on “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management”, which is being coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2019 and supported by the German Foreign Office.

Two experts from the Berlin prison system supported the IRZ in carrying out the seminar:

  • Senior government official Ingo-Uwe Schümann, an adviser in Department III for IT control and digitalisation of the Berlin prison system, and
  • Martin Guder, social education worker and head of prison section at the Tegel prison.

In their welcome addresses the representative of the DGAPR, Reolonane Koutane, and Antje Gade, Head of the Legal and Consulate Department at the German Embassy in Rabat, praised the cooperation between Germany and Morocco, represented here by the IRZ and the DGAPR. Both countries can benefit from their mutual experience, in particular with regard to the deradicalisation of prisoners, a topic of increasing importance in Germany.

The main topics of the seminar were:
  • The development of planning capacities involving external players,
  • internal and external communication strategies as well as
  • digital networking in the context of a decentralisation of administrative structures.

The German experts saw many similarities between the development in Morocco and the development in the German prison system during the last decades. By retaining their function as an authority the penal institutions have gained more responsibility and autonomy. The decentralisation of administrative structures in Morocco is not that strongly developed as yet, but the constitution of 2011 stipulates its promotion.

The DGAPR’s tasks

The DGAPR has been running all areas of the prison system independently since 2008. Apart from the central administration in Rabat, the authority has regional offices which supervise the individual prisons. The regional and central administrations as well as the heads of prison and their officers exchange information at meetings which take place at different intervals. However, the networking between the individual penal institutions and with the central administration is still insufficiently developed.

The two German experts explained in their lectures how the Berlin Senate Administration monitors the compliance with the legal framework conditions by the prison within its supervisory function. The control instruments comprise:

  • General action guidelines, 
  • strategy planning, 
  • annual programme planning of individual measures, 
  • target agreements concluded individually with each penal institution, 
  • the development and measuring of KPIs. 

They added, however, that within the legal framework the penal institutions had a certain discretionary power guaranteed by the constitution. Direct communication was ensured also in Germany by means of regular meetings between the heads of administration and of the prisons.

Based on the findings of this seminar, a communication and planning strategy will be developed in the form of action guidelines for the DGAPR by a working group during the seminars scheduled in 2019.