Pictures online

December 26, 2006

Find impressions of the conference at and here. Enjoy!


Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2006



Thx to our loyal readership

December 23, 2006

Not without pride we may state that this weblog still enjoys great popularity!

The most recent evidence for the sense of this project can be seen in another reference, this time set by the renowned Polish institute PRO FUTURO EUROPAE. The institute’s president Mr. Piotr UHMA is well known to the participants of ICNYP 2006 in his capacity as Vice President of ICNYP.

Dziękuję bardzo, pan Uhma!

 In line with the experts’ argument presented at ICNYP 2006, the Austrian penal system for juvenile offenders obviously follows the guiding idea of

education being THE prerequisite for social inclusion.

Opposite to a tavern a descreet wall, abundantly covered with vegetation. Thereon a inconsiderable plate that shows the way behind the wall: A gate. A huge gate. The sun is shining, autumn presents itself in its whole glory. A wall, but no towers, no razor wire. Welcome to Justizanstalt für Jugendliche Gerasdorf !

Gerasdorf is the only all-male prison for juvenile offenders in Austria. Established in 1970, the prison is designed for up to 134 inmates that are accomodate in single (100) or double cells. Currently, there are 127 detainees of 17 different nationalities, the youngest aged 15 and the oldest 26. All male juvenile offenders that are sentenced to at least six months in prison between the age of 14 to 18 are sent to Gerasdorf. People over 18 who were sentenced to many years of imprisonment are usually kept in Gerasdorf until not later than their 27th birthday, considering the state of the state of the education and the mental health of the respective person. In total 90 people are employed there, including 3 psychologists, 4 social workers, teachers, doctors, taskmasters, guards, etc.

According to the (female!) governor of the prison, the main focus of the work with the young inmates lays on

– teaching/vocational training

– expedient recreational activities

– therapeutical activities

The regime at Gerasdorf combines education, job training and social-life training. A prisoner serving a sentence is required to go to school and/or attend vocational training in one of 14 fields namely baker, barber, bricklayer, cabinetmaker, tinsmith, locksmith, mechanic, carbody producer, painter, gardener, electrician, cook, fully qualified waiter. During the two hours tour led by two experienced executives the participants had the opportunity to see the multitude of workshops and to speak to some trainees.

The daily schedule at Gerasdorf is tightly organised. People get up at 6:30 am, school/work starts at 7:30 am. Welcome to life behind bars… Work takes until 4 pm, interrupted by 3 breaks. From 4 pm to 6pm people are required to participate in leisuretime groups where both personality and occupational skills are promoted. During this time inmates take physical exercise (football, basketball, etc.) either open air or indoor or are individually looked after.From 6 pm to 8 pm at the latest people are free to enjoy freetime. Of course without alcohol!

To help the boys learn how to live in functional social groups, they live (with exceptions) in units of eight compatible boys in a group-living atmosphere. Each unit has single cells and two shared living spaces (a kitchen and a living room).

Inmates are allowed to have visits up to four times a week, with at least one lasting a full hour. Having served a certain portion of the sentence detainees are allowed to leave the prison for a certain time, depending on their behavior and their crime.

Gerasdorf focuses on developing the young person’s social, educational, vocational and behavioural skills that will allow him to lead a normal, drug-free life after release. Good social behaviour is rewarded with privileges. During lunch that was served and prepared by the detainees themselves, the staff psychologist explained that the education and training they receive in the prison should allow them to learn how to organise and manage leisure-time activities and work skills that will make life enjoyable without drugs or crime. Prison staff rewards the boys with approbation and friendly help with individual problems, while blaming bad behaviour and punishing it with withdrawal of privileges.

The psychologist emphasised that most young offenders have similar biographies: broken or dysfunctional homes, unsuccessful experiences of school, failure to get work, non-commitment and non-involvement in developing a life plan, developing uncontrollable habits of drugs abusage etc. In addition comes dependence on “wrong friends”.


cimg1182.jpg photograph of the official brochure

On Thursday 14th December 11 brave participants of ICNYP 2006 entered a bus for a leap in the dark. Ultimate destination: Justizanstalt für Jugendliche v/o Juvenile Prison Gerasdorf in St. Egyden am Steinfeld, 65 km to the south of Vienna (thx Erich for the hint!).

Let me anticipate the end of the story: Everybody returned safe and happy from an interesting trip through the beautiful landscape that surrounds the Austrian capital to a place everybody fears but few people know.

The fewer the better…

Join us soon for the facts and the details of the tour.

G’day Mr President!

December 19, 2006

 Peter Kenyon (in a moment of reflection; next to Ralph Brabec)

“Now is the time and we are the ones we have been waiting for!” – The president speaks, the audience is delighted. Be it Native Indian quotes, be it his own experiences, Peter KENYON has a lot to report, and his listeners appreciate it. But it is unlikely that Mr Kenyon was officially appointed President of ICNYP on Friday 15th December thanks to his entertainment and motivation skills ‘only’.

“Inside every old person,” he says, “is a young person wondering what has happened.” In the case of the 56 years old Australian, a lot has happened. The professed “youth philanthrop” has, among others, been active as a youth worker, teacher, youth education officer and university lecturer for decades. His personal and professional interests lay in youth policy, rural economic development and enterprise promotion. Mr Kenyon holds a master degree of Philosophy and is currently enrolled in a PhD program. He has authored 16 publications within the fields of community and economic development, youth policy development and youth enterprise.

During ICNYP 2006 in Vienna, we got to know Mr  Kenyon as the dynamic mastermind before the scenes. Always placed right in the front of the podium (if not on it himself), he managed to keep every discussion exciting and efficient, even if people were exhausted and coffee was over. As the new president of ICNYP, Mr Kenyon will finally be the incarnated spearhead of the international youth. Let’s hope he will never run out of coffee and creativity.

Now is the time and you, Mr President, are the one ICNYP and a responsible challenge is waiting for! Congratulations and good luck!

For more information on Peter Kenyon see