Our institution, the »Berliner Vollzugsbeirat (BVB)« – »Imprisonment Advisory Board of Berlin« – is a non-government body of about 18 – 20 honorary representatives of social institutions such as employers- and employeers-federations, physicians and advocats board, welfare associations, media etc.; membership is also due to the 8 – 10 chairmen/chairwomen of the local prisons’ advisory boards.
The members of the »BVB« act independantly although they are challenged by the Berlin Ministry of Justice, according to a advanced sight of rules 162 – to 165 of the »StVollzG« – the federal »Imprisonment Law« – since more than 25 years now.
In monthly meetings of the board – which normally are performed in one of the Berlin prisons – we discuss current events and problems reported for example by the local prison board’s chairmen / chairwomen but related to the Berlin imprisonment system as a whole such as: overpopulation in prisons – facts, consequences and means to deal with -; questions (and lack) of financial and human resources for rehabilitation measures (labour, vocational training, therapeutical and freetime facilities); medical care in the Berlin prisons; etc..
The results of the discussions normally lead to press releases, written proposals or conferences with responsibles of the Berlin Ministry of Justice.
BVB expert – statements beneath are given on demand to the Berlin parliaments legal committee when fundamental questions of the Berlin prisons are discussed there, and during the process of legislation procedures such as for the Untersuchungshaftvollzugsgesetz (Prisoners on Demand Act) and for the Jugendstrafvollzugsgesetz (Juvenile Prisoners Act).
Dr. Olaf Heischel
Chairman of the BVB