Institut für Kriminologie

Young Muslims in Prison – Challenges and Opportunities for a Successful Integration

Young Muslims in prison challenges and opportunities for a successful integration


Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within their initiative “migration and societal changes”

Project Duration: February 2018 – January 2021

This project investigates how the juvenile prison system has already and will have to (further) adapt to the challenges broad along by immigration and demographical changes in Germany.

The empirical research project analyzes to what extent juvenile prisons do justice to the cultural peculiarities in the daily routine of young Muslims in prison – especially those who just recently migrated to Germany. Hence, one research question is: Are young Muslim inmates able to equally practice their religion within the restrictive environment of the juvenile prison system? Or does the juvenile prison system have to change and evolve in this regard?

Additionally, this research will also provide insights into the way in which different forms of pastoral care in prison have an impact on the community of young inmates. Therefore, one of the central questions within this research is: In what way does Muslim pastoral care in prison serve as a starting point or tool to counter a religiously-rooted radicalization of young prisoners? Furthermore, it will be analyzed what specific challenges are associated with young Muslim inmates in terms of the central aims of resocialization and education within the juvenile prison system. Similarly, it will be analyzed how cultural diversity is implemented in programs within the prisons as well as in post-care programs for former prisoners. The continuous development and improvement of such programs is important as it not only improves the chances for social participation upon release from prison but also aims to prevent recidivism. Thereby, such programs actively contribute to an overall stronger society.