Seminar on the “Management of prison staff by the DGAPR”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

On 24 November 2020, IRZ, together with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), organised an online seminar on the “Management of prison staff by the DGAPR”. The event was part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office. IRZ is coordinating this project between 2017 and September 2021.

Denise Steinküller, Permanent Representative of the Head of the Prison Service Academy for NRW, reported on experiences from the German penal system. Salah Hamza, Head of Department at the National Training Centre in Tiflet, and Aaouatif Zouahri, Head of the HR Department at DGAPR headquarters, provided the Moroccan perspective.

The main topics covered by the seminar were the methods for teaching communication skills to prison staff and strategies for increasing motivation. As a result of ongoing reforms, Morocco is modernising its basic training facilities on a large scale. Both countries have also reorganised the way training takes place due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In Morocco, for example, large sections of the practical training sessions take place outdoors, and in both countries group sizes within the training years have been reduced.

The DGAPR selects its training staff based on their extensive practical experience and good service records. Before taking up their teaching positions, they have taken training courses and gained further theoretical knowledge of teaching methods. In Germany, the majority of training staff also have extensive experience of working in the prison system. It is nevertheless increasingly difficult to find suitable staff.

Both Germany and Morocco see good communications as a central part of achieving the objectives of prison detention and are focussing on teaching the necessary communication skills as part of their training programmes. Particular attention is paid to practical involvement in this area. Specific further training courses are available for dealing and communicating with dangerous prisoners.

The challenge remains in both countries to increase the motivation of prison staff. The DGAPR is therefore offering programmes giving staff the possibility of qualifying for management positions. IRZ and the DGAPR are planning more in-depth events on the subjects covered by these programmes for 2021.