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Conference in Tunis on the prison system

Published: February 5, 2016

From 18 to 20 January 2016, another conference was held in Tunis to discuss planned reforms of the prison system in Tunisia. The main focus of this conference was on the "Requirements of a modern prison system with regard to construction and social rehabilitation".

The reforms have been supported by the IRZ since the beginning of the cooperation, in close partnership with the Senate Department for Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin. Experts from the Berlin prison system also took part in this conference. These included Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald, Director of the open prison in Berlin, Dr. Anja Schammler, head of department at the Tegel prison facility, Alfred Leszczynski, head of department at the open prison in Berlin, and J├╝rgen Heitmann, building advisor for the Senate Department for Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin.

In order to get an insight into the current situation in the Tunisian prison system, the programme for the first day of the conference included visits to two prisons, Burj Ameri and Mornaguia. During presentations and a tour of the prisons, current problems and the measures taken by the prison directors to solve them were explained. This very open insight offered by the Tunisians led to the development of more in-depth discussions and presentations at the conference the next day, as well as talks about definitive ways of finding solutions. The talks focussed in particular on the overcrowding of prison facilities, dealing with detainees who are in prison because of terrorist offences and plans for the reform of the Tunisian prison system. On the third day, these discussions then continued with two workshops dealing with individual aspects concerning the lodging of detainees.

The IRZ will continue to work intensively on its successful and reliable cooperation with Tunisia with regards to its prison system. This includes the launch of a twinning project in January 2016 involving the IRZ.