Youth Farm "Seehaus"
- Faith Based Programme for Juvenile Delinquents as Alternative to Prison -

Foto: with friendly permission of A.M.I. GmbH

Starting Point

Crime is a problem of the whole society. Imprisonment is necessary for some cases. A high recidivism rate after imprisonment shows, that especially new concepts and forms are necessary - especially for juveniles. For such a concept the needs of all groups involved have to be taken in consideration - the needs of victims, the community, offenders and their families:


Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Ulrich Goll made it possible for the first time in Germany that juvenile offenders can serve their prison term in a programme of a NGO. 14-23 year old juveniles and young adults who are sentenced to a prison term of about 1-4 years are eligible for the programme. After being sent to prison they can apply for the innovative form of a juvenile prison. A committee of prison staff, the governor and staff of Prisma will decide whether somebody is eligible for the programme. He will then stay for 12-18 months in the Youth Farm "Seehaus".

The aim of the programme is that the juveniles learn how to live a life without crime. The juveniles have to learn, to take on responsibility.

The programme

The young offenders are separated from older prisoners in order to protect them from negative influence. They are housed in an old farm - the Youth Farm "Seehaus". They live in groups of 7 students together with a family or house parents. Through a positive group concept they learn to take on responsibility for themselves, for each others and for the programme.

Volunteers play an important role in the lives of the students. Godparenting, mentoring, study groups and leisure time activities are some of the activities which are offered by volunteers.