Participants and speakers at the seminar in Casablanca
Participants and speakers at the seminar in Casablanca

On 10 and 11 April 2019, the IRZ, together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), organised a seminar in Casablanca on “Management of prison staff by the DGAPR”. The event was held as part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2020.

The seminar was organised for the part of the project dealing with improving HR development and staff management in prisons. The aim was to teach modern management methods and present incentives and upgrading systems for prison officers.

The IRZ experts attending the seminar were:

  • Nadine Franasik, Head of health-oriented personnel management at the young offenders’ institution in Berlin, and
  • Kathrin Braun, representing the Berlin Senate Administration for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination.

The seminar was opened and moderated by the Head of Personnel for the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) in Morocco, Radouane Kouta. He presented the latest developments and efforts made by the DGAPR towards the reform of the prison system in Morocco. One of the main priorities of the DGAPR here is to develop a modern staff management system.

The seminar started by addressing the implementation of international standards in the training of prison staff. The main subject of discussion was the consolidation of human rights and alignment with international standards, such as the “Mandela Rules”. Selection criteria and job profiles for qualified staff were also important topics for discussion.

Efforts are currently being made in Morocco to modernise the entire staff recruitment system for the prison service and therefore to make work in prisons more appealing in general. Intense discussions also took place on the potential professional risks for people working in prisons. These were mainly about security issues in individual prisons and the increased psychological demands on staff through specific stresses involved in everyday prison life, such as overcrowding, violence amongst prisoners and the bribery of staff. The participants in the seminar then went on to discuss HR development and management in prisons. There are plans to introduce measures to improve the quality of staff training and incentives in Moroccan prisons. These include the creation of a committee for the development of selection criteria for prison officers and improvements in the establishment and documentation of the requirements of prison staff (questionnaires). To support reform efforts in the area of staff management, prison authorities will also use external trainers during this development phase.

During the seminar, a lively exchange of experiences took place with animated discussions, during which German experiences of staff management in prisons were presented. Since this subject is currently highly topical, the Moroccan prison authorities have expressed an ongoing requirement to continue these talks, which will be resumed in the autumn.