In her weblog, Frances Crook, Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, reports on visits to prisons (Tegel and Neustrelitz) and compares them with the equivalent in the UK (A note from a visit to German prisons).
There are 160 staff who include officers who run the programmes, apprenticeships, farm with pigs, do training (they take dogs from a local rescue and train them), and they offer real qualifications.
Young people undergo a “diagnostic test” on reception and a sentence plan is devised to address their “deficits”.
All well and good, and the most noticeable thing was how physically fit and articulate the young people were. They were all tall, looked as though they got decent food and exercise, and engaged in conversation with us, even trying out school English. Such a contrast to some of the poor little things I have seen in English, and Scottish, prisons. Generations of poverty in the UK have taken their toll and I am not sure things have improved much since Lord Kitchener complained about the health of his conscripts a century ago.
On the whole, she was impressed, but she was shocked by the Fixierung (Fesselung) at Neustrelitz.
Via German Joys