The Tunisian delegation on a visit to the JVA Heidering prison
The Tunisian delegation on a visit to the JVA Heidering prison

From 10 to 15 September 2018, the IRZ welcomed a delegation of high-ranking representatives of the Tunisian prison system on a visit to Berlin. The delegation was led by the Director General of the Tunisian prison authorities, Elyes Zalleg, and Ali Guiga representing the Ministry of Justice.

The four-day study visit on the “classification of prisoners” and “transition management and follow-up care in prisons” began with a visit to the Senate in Berlin, followed by expert discussions with the Head of Department III – Law Enforcement, Susanne Gerlach. This was followed by talks with Social Services, during which the structure and areas of responsibility of probationary services were presented. Over the next three days, the Tunisian guests visited detention facilities and took part in expert discussions with their directors and other members of staff. This included psychologists, social workers, enforcement officers and security personnel, who explained their areas of responsibility.

The main topics discussed during the talks were the classification of prisoners and social reintegration and follow-up care. The Tunisian delegation also learned about further training opportunities for prisoners and about the involvement of external parties in the social reintegration process.

All four days of the working visit featured lively discussions between the Tunisian guests and their hosts. Since the Tunisian prison system is currently undergoing a period of upheaval, many questions came up with regard to potential for reform and the implementation of new structures and processes. The German experts provided some important ideas and momentum for the continuing reforms.

The study visit was organised as part of the project running from 2017 to 2019 to support judicial reform in Tunisia, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office.