The Tunisian delegation at the Ministry of Justice for North Rhine-Westphalia
The Tunisian delegation at the Ministry of Justice for North Rhine-Westphalia

During the period from 26 August to 1 September 2018, a delegation of representatives from the prison authority and the prison service in Tunisia visited the Ministry of Justice and various penal institutions in the North-Rhine Westphalia region of Germany.

The event was organised in partnership with the “General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration” in Tunisia and under the leadership of the French organisation “Justice Coopération Internationale” (JCI) and was supported by the European Union within the framework of the twinning project “Renforcement des institutions de l‘administration pénitentiaire” on prison system reform in Tunisia. The project began in October 2015 and will run until September 2018.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Development of the institutional capacities of the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration
  • Support for the National University of Prison Administration and Reintegration in the development of a new training programme 
  • Development of a national concept for the gradual introduction of a probation system in Tunisia.

At the start of their visit, the Tunisian guests were welcomed to the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region in Düsseldorf by assistant state secretary Jakob Klaas. Here, the participants were given an introduction to the prison system in North Rhine-Westphalia. They were informed about the structure and organisation of the prison system and were given an overview of the following topics:

  • suspended sentencing, 
  • the roles and tasks of probation officers, 
  • admitting and dealing with terrorist prisoners and 
  • cooperation with the media and publicity work.

Over the following days, the delegation visited various penal institutions, including the JVA Geldern, the young offenders’ institution in Heinsberg, the Willich II women's prison and the Moers-Kapellen open prison. The following topics were discussed at these institutions:

  • the process and requirements of sentence planning for prisoners,
  • prison staff (figures, career paths, human resources),
  • opportunities for vocational training and occupational therapy for prisoners,
  • the differences between open and closed prisons and
  • specific features of the various institutions.

The Tunisian guests were also able to see for themselves the various training facilities, sports grounds, libraries and prison cells.

The topics discussed during the study visit were met with a great deal of interest by the participants. They took an active part in discussions and made the most of the opportunity to ask plenty of questions.
In Tunisia, the reintegration of prisoners is a subject that is increasingly taking centre stage. There is therefore a continued need for exchanging expertise in this field.

Funded by the European Union