Jugendknast (youth prison Weimar)

14. MacCormack


While living in Germany I created a series of projects to raise awareness of the human rights violations at Weimar’s youth prison. After completing a poster campaign (in collaboration with Mike Young and committee), animation (in collaboration with Steven Brown) and blog I constructed a “roadside” style memorial on the prison fence, with flowers, stuffed animals, candles and text from articles and reports about the prison conditions, recent suicides and other traumas. Flowers were added and candles lit everyday for a month. Articles were written about the work in the local papers, adding to the prison’s visibility.  For the final part of the project, a public discussion was organized to take place in front of the memorial with local social workers, politicians, students and former prisoners.  www.jugendknast.blogspot.com


15. MacCormack

“Most of the young inmates were locked in their cells 23 hours a day.” quote from a report by The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.


Thuringer Allgemeine



“At Weimar/Ichtershausen Juvenile Prison, interviews with inmates and with a number of staff, as well as the delegation’s own findings, disclosed a strong hierarchy – with racial overtones – within the prison population. The prospect of being subjected to threats, extortion, or even physical violence or sexual abuse, was particularly high among the most vulnerable prisoners, in this instance, those who appeared very young or physically weak. Indeed, the delegation became aware of a serious case of physical and sexual abuse of a prisoner by another, older prisoner that had occurred a few days before its visit; medicalexamination of the victim by the prison doctor had revealed haematomas compatible with the allegations. Several inmates were so afraid that they no longer dared to leave their cells, even refusing to come out for their daily hour of exercise in the open air.”
At Weimar/Ichtershausen, since the occurrence of a serious incident there in 2001 (when an inmate was murdered in his cell), the administration had focused mainly on cell allocation: a maximum of two prisoners per cell, provided that both agreed to share a cell; and a cell change as soon as any incident was reported to the administration. However, there was no real strategy for dealing with intimidation and violence among prisoners.” (CPT)

“Several inmates were so afraid that they no longer dared to leave their cells, even refusing to come out for their daily hour of exercise in the open air.”


“In all the prisons visited, there was at least one security cell (besonders gesicherter Haftraum), in which prisoners could be subjected to means of physical restraint (Fixierung). All such cells were equipped with CCTV, in order to ensure visual supervision. However, in none of the establishments visited was continuous and direct monitoring performed by a member of staff.”


“The case of an 18-year old prisoner met by the delegation at Weimar/Ichtershausen gives rise for particular concern. In September 2005, he was subjected to Fixierung on a mattress without blankets, using metal police-style cuffs for wrists and ankles, in order to prevent him from self-harm. Further, he was kept undressed except for his underpants. After some time he passed urine and then soiled himself. When staff became aware of the situation during a routine check, they cut off his underpants and hosed him down with cold water to remove the faeces. According to the documentation available, he spent a total of 84 hours under some form of restraint (initially four-point and, at a later stage, two-point Fixierung). For about 24 hours during this period, he was stripped naked, which he found a humiliating experience.”

Poster1_A4   Diskussion_ invite



related subjects : 2007, 2008, activism, animation, collaborations, community, criminalization, digital, drawing, installation, institutional critique, internet, intervention, mental health, performance, posters, sexual assault, site-specific, Uncategorized