COLOGNE Prison WORK

Having completed an Artistic Therapy Diploma in England but faced with the punitive ‘Bang ‘em up’ policies in England, Angela went to Germany where she was employed by Maßstab e.V in Cologne from 1992-96.

This is a hugely innovative Trust founded by the two lawyers Hermann Weische and Matthias Remky, both passionate pioneers and advocates of the rehabilitation of prisoners and prison prevention. Their vision is to offer support to prisoners both inside Cologne’s Ossendorf Prison and upon their release. The Trust has a café, a building company and a carpentry workshop each offering prisoners opportunities to train and find employment while social workers support their psychological needs. The Trust works together with probation, the law courts, youth organizations, social services, schools, families, employers and more. The arts are a fully integrated part of the Trust’s approach.

With the encouragement of both the Trust and the Governor of JVA Ossendorf, Angela was able to establish a thriving Art department in Cologne prison. She ran intensive mural painting courses in exercise yards, prison wings, hobby rooms, visitors’ waiting rooms as well as weekly art classes. The results not only humanized the otherwise grey prison environment but also had profound effects on prisoners and staff alike.

In 1996 the Trust created a Prison Prevention Scheme for Young Offenders with supervised accommodation and training and asked Angela to be the Head of it. Once again the arts became an integral part of the process of enabling young boys to create a crime-free life.

Angela was regularly interviewed for radio, TV and feature length articles in newspapers and magazines. She was often asked to contribute reports on her work to specialist or academic publications and advised other prisons or charities keen to learn how to use the arts in their environments.

The Trust had weekly meetings discussing the theoretical ideas behind their work and regular gatherings or symposiums with a wide range of people affected by criminal behaviour.

Employment in Germany

1996 – 97
1992 – 96

Head of Maßstab Prison Prevention Scheme for Young Offenders – Cologne
Facilitator of mural painting, art and colour projects in Ossendorf Prison – Maßstab Trust, Cologne

Exhibitions of prisoners Art in Cologne

1993
1994
.
1995
1996

Wandmalerei hinter Gittern / Murals behind bars – Maßstab e.V
Kunst hinter Gittern / Art behind Bars – Justizgebäude / Cologne Law Courts (Opened by President of the District Court, Auction by Kurt Rossa, Director of City Council)
Freiheit durch Kunst? / Freedom through Art? – Galleria Navarrete
Farben in einer grauen Welt / Colour in a grey world – Stadt Bibliothek

Illustrated lectures

1994
1994
1996
1996
1996

Cologne Law Courts
Jugendveranstaltung, Cologne
Kulturhaus, Cologne
Tobias School of Art, East Grinstead
Anthroposofiske, Copenhagen

Read my monthly blogs - relating to Criminal Justice, Germany’s and Britain’s differing cultures of World War 2 Remembrance, and art as a tool for change