Think Justice Blog

Dispatches from Germany

In 2013, staff from the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera)—along with a number of our American corrections partners—traveled to Germany to tour German prisons and learn about their approach to incarceration. The resulting exchange sparked a longer-term partnership between Vera and corrections officials in Germany—and Vera has since planned two additional exchange visits.

This blog series highlights the last trip embarked on by Vera’s Restoring Promise team and includes reflections from Vera staff and our partners on how international exchanges can inform the work to reform the living and working conditions in our jails and prisons.

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  • Alex Frank
    Alex Frank
September 14, 2018

Series: Dispatches from Germany

Can We Learn from Our Past?

There were trees and grass everywhere. The sun was shining. You could hear the wind rustle through the leaves—that’s how quiet it was. There was solemn in the quiet, forcing me to be with my own thoughts.  I wasn’t walking through a park—this was a former Nazi...

  • Jack W. Duran
    Jack W. Duran
August 23, 2018

Series: Dispatches from Germany

What German Prisons Do Differently

I’ll never forget it. My colleagues from Vera and I were wrapping up our visit to Jugendanstalt Hameln, a  correctional facility for young men up to 25 years old in the German state of Lower Saxony. I was standing at a table eating a sandwich and making conver...