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Proliferation and Implementation of Prison Ombudsmen

Comparative Analysis of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales and the Justizvollzugsbeauftragter des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen


Sabine Carl

Prison ombudsmen are charged with investigating claims of injustice and breaches of human rights within the total institutions of the penal system. This book comprehensively explains which needs these institutions were intended to meet, why they spread around the globe and how their proliferation determined their implementation. Using a grounded theory approach, the author examines one subject each from both the common and civil law world. The result is a detailed analysis of the acute impact of pressure on cross-fertilization processes involving human rights-sensitive penal institutions.


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This doctoral thesis was approved by the Faculty of Law of the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, in May of 2013. First and foremost I would like to thank my doctoral adviser, Prof. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland. Not only did he agree to oversee my chosen topic of re- search, but he also continuously supported my work contributing to the academ- ic discourse through journal articles and conference participation. Heartfelt thanks also belong to my second adviser, Prof. Trevor Buck of the De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. I am especially grateful that he encour- aged me to present at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Socio Legal Studies Association, where I came into first-hand contact with the British discourse on ombudsmen. I would also like to thank my interview partners Roswitha Müller- Piepenkötter (Justizministerin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen 2005-10), Prof. em. Michael Walter (Justizvollzugsbeauftragter des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen) and Olivia Morrison-Lyons (Assistant Ombudsman to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales) for their voluntary participa- tion in this study. I sincerely appreciate their most generous offer of both their time and unique insight. Finally, I would like to thank the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung for their financial and ideational support of my doctoral research via allotment of funds provided by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. The opportunity to pur- sue this academic endeavor was greatly appreciated.

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