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Events of dates will be posted here that are related to the Prison Archive, its members or to topics we work about.

Convicts and (former) prisoners as criminologists @ Fachhochschule Dortmund University of Applied Science and Arts
Oct 10 @ 9:30 – 16:00


The Workshop will be partly in English and partly in German. We cannot offer a translation of the workshop’s whole content. However, Sven Burkhardt will provide a few summary translations English-German and German-English during the day. You can join in presence or online after signing via: Registration Link



09.30 – 10.00 – Christine Graebsch (in English and in presence):

  • Introduction to the conference and the work of the ‘Prison Archive’ at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund
  • Einführung zur Konferenz und in die Arbeit des ‘Strafvollzugsarchivs’ an der Fachhochschule Dortmund

10.00 – 11.00 – Jeffrey Ian Ross (in English and online):

  • Convict Criminology in Northern America and elsewhere followed by Q &A
  • Convict Criminology in Nordamerika und anderswo, anschließend Fragerunde

11.00 – 11.15 – Coffee break/Kaffeepause

11.15 – 12.00 – #BigDreams Kollektiv (in Deutsch und in Präsenz):

  • #BigDreams Redemption – Wer resozialisiert die Gesellschaft? Anschließend Fragerunde
  • #BigDreams Redemption – Who rehabilitates society? Followed by Q & A

12.00 – 12.45 – Shahin Bahengam und Paul Erxleben, zwei Gefangene der JVA Tegel, gemeinsam mit Julian Knop (in Deutsch, teilweise in Präsenz, teilweise online):

  • Projekt „Uni im Vollzug: Gemeinsames Studieren von Gefangenen und Externen
  • Project „University in Prison“: Studying together of prisoners and external students

12.45 – 13.00 – Coffee break/Kaffeepause

13.00 – 13.45 – Mohamedou Oud Slahi (in Deutsch und online):

  • Wie ein ehemaliger Guantanamo-Gefangener mit der Erfahrung von Folter umgeht
  • How a former Guantánamo detainee deals with the experience of torture

13.45 – 14.30 – Klaus Jünschke (in Deutsch und in Präsenz):

  • Die Zelle als Lehrerin für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung
  • The cell as teacher for social science research

14.30 – 14.45 – Kaffeepause/Coffee break

14.45 – 15.45 – Panel Discussion: (How) can Convict Criminology be possibly in Germany?Contributions by Jeffrey Ian Ross (online), Johannes Feest (online), Klaus Jünschke (present), Julian Knop (present)

  • Moderated by Christine Graebsch (present)
  • Summary translations by Sven Burkhardt (present)

15.45 – 16.00 – Concluding remarksAfterwards optional getting together at a restaurant.



Criminological debates often lack the perspective of those experts who have experienced the criminal justice system’s sanctions and imprisonment personally. During the last 25 years, mainly in Northern America, a “Convict Criminology” has developed which systematically includes these experiences – as well as the persons who have made them – into academic criminology. In the German speaking countries no „convict criminologists” in this narrow sense have come to be known. During our workshop, we want to deal with the question why this is the case and if as well as how this could be changed.As an introduction to this subject, Jeffrey Ian Ross, one of the co-founders of Convict Criminology will introduce into this subject by describing the intention, development and relevance of Convict Criminology in Northern America but also its prevalence in further (European) countries.



In the course of our workshop, we will present projects and persons belonging to the German speaking context, who are at least dedicated to the aim of Convict Criminology to strengthen the consideration of convict’s and (ex-)prisoner’s experiences in academic debate.

  • The Prison Archive at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund: It offers free legal advice to prisoners and bases its research on the reality of prison (law) on its correspondence with prisoners.
  • #BigDreams: Diverse collective of artists, activists, and scholars that has been working on Brian’s case for two and a half years. Brian himself is a member of the collective, which organizes artistic and discursive formats such as performances, exhibitions and podiums. Artistic means are used  to take a new perspective on Brian’s case. In numerous transdisciplinary collaborations, the topics of structural racism, prison and resocialization, human rights and media-economical processes are negotiated.
  • University in prison: Studying together of prisoners and law students with the aim to open up university studies to prisoners as well as offer insights in the experience of prison by prisoners to external students.
  • Klaus Jünschke: Social scientist and former prisoner who today works as an author of non-fiction books in the field of criminology.



Christine Graebsch, lawyer and criminologist, professor at the Faculty of Applied Social Studies of the University of Applied Social Sciences in Dortmund and head of the Prison Archive located there. Publications on law and reality of imprisonment, crimmigration, desistance and evidence-based crime prevention. Lectures on imprisonment also at the University of Hamburg (Master of Criminology) and Bremen (Legal clinic for prison law).

Sven Burkhardt, lawyer and interim professor at the Faculty of Applied Social Studies of the University of Applied Social Sciences in Dortmund and member of the Prison Archive located there. Lawyers practice mainly in the area of criminal-law-based placements in a psychiatric clinic, the execution of sanctions and prison law. Publications in the field of prison law and international criminal law.Publications

Johannes Feest, lawyer and social scientist, retired professor for prison law, founder of the Prison Archive at the University of Bremen. Co-founder of the first (and for more than 40 years only) legal clinic for prison law in Germany. From 1995-97 Scientific Director of the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain. Publications on law and reality of imprisonment, abolitionism, legal cultures, and police research.

Jeffrey Ian Ross, professor at the University of Baltimore, School of Criminal Justice, College of Public Affairs, research fellow in the Center for International and Comparative Law, and the Schaefer Center for Public Policy. He was visiting professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, and University of Padua, Italy. During the early 1980s, Jeff worked for almost four years in a correctional institution. Publications about prison, street culture, policing, political crime, state crime, crimes of the powerful, violence and criminal justice in American Indian communities. He is co-founder of Convict Criminology and co-editor and author of important publications on this subject, i.a. „Convict Criminology“ (together with Stephen C. Richards, Wadsworth Publishing 2003) and „Convict Criminology for the Future“ (together with Francesca Vianello, Routledge 2021).

Mohamedou Oud Slahi: Born in Mauretania; study of electrical engineering at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany; since 2002 without indictment detained at Guantánamo Bay; released not before 2016 because no peace of evidence for his alleged contribution to the 9/11 attacks was found. Afterwards public examination of his respective experience, publication of the “Guantánamo Diary” (2015) which became an international bestseller; film “The Mauretanian” by Kevin Macdonald. He especially delt with the question how it could happen that he had been tortured in Guantánamo, and what the consequences of torture are for those who have been tortured but also for those who have tortured, and how could be dealt with it.

Klaus Jünschke: Social scientist, former member of the Red Army Fraction, convicted to life term imprisonment in 1977, granted reprieve in 1988, today author of publications in the field of criminology and imprisonment. The book by Klaus Jünschke, Jörg Hauenstein and Christiane Ensslin „Pop-Shop: Gespräche mit Jugendlichen in Haft“. konkret-Literatur-Verlag Hamburg 2007 is based on a discussion group in a juvenile’s prison. Three years of working for a research project at the University of Cologne on the overrepresentation of Non-German juveniles in prison. Currently conducting a story workshop with prisoners who are homeless.

Julian Knop: criminologist, research associate at the Institute for Rehabilitation Sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin and head of the non-profit organization Tatort Zukunft. Publication on law and reality of imprisonment, juvenile criminal law and desistance.