The prizes of GRR for the winners – Photo: Horst Milde
For the amusement of the visitors the „in-house band“ of the JVA Plötzensee „Notorius booknumbers“ plays, consisting of inmates and the music teacher Jürgen Bailey.
The event is supervised and supported by the staff of the participating correctional prisons, but also by volunteers from „outside“. The volunteers, led by Dr. Erdmute Nieke, take on tasks such as issuing race numbers and certificates, serving drinks, catering and serving as course marshals.
Positive effects of sporting activities for prisoners with limited movement possibilities – which go beyond push-ups and strength exercises – are indisputable and provide special motivation. Running and running therapy in prison provide a stress buffer and are thought to alleviate prisoner stress. The antidepressant and stress-reducing effects of running have been scientifically proven, which is why running in prisons is an important part of resocialization. Strengthening a positive self-image and improving the chances of reintegration through meaningful leisure activities in running in prison are now recognized by the justice system as an important factor, as a therapeutic measure and as an antidepressant in resocialization.
This race is not only a special event for the Berlin justice system – and thus a special “ flagship “ of the justice system – as well as for German Road Races a showcase event to bring the running sport closer to all members of society as a therapeutic for the soul.
Director of the Prison Authority Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald (right) during an interview with Felix Hackenbruch from the daily newspaper „Tagesspiegel“ – Photo: Horst Milde
At the end of the race, the director of the prison, Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald, who opened the event with a short speech before the start, thanked the organizers, participants, visitors and volunteers for a successful event, which was fun and enjoyable for everyone and will be continued in the interest of the prisoners!
Felix Hackenbruch, runner and journalist, writes in the Berlin newspaper „TAGESSPIEGEL“ on May 9, 2023 an article worth reading with the headline:“ JVA Plötzensee: Prisoners run for resocialization“: „During sports you forget everything, your thoughts are simply gone. Sport helps him to get his mind off things for a few hours. It’s the only compensation we have here“, says an inmate with whom he runs the ten laps together“.
Such contributions are important so that the public learns what goes on behind bars, what running can positively achieve – and the prisoner then says at the end: „We are also normal people“.
8th Berlin 10 km race for prisoners on Friday, April 26, 2024 at Plötzensee Prison!