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
“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.
“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.”