Education and Further Training

Corrections and Rehabilitation offers detained persons the opportunity to develop their professional skills and to meet their educational needs.

Table of contents

Educational opportunities

Depending on their function and facilities available, the penal institutions offer various educational opportunities to their inmates.

Basic education

The Zurich Correctional Facilities (VEZ) (with the exception of Winterthur Semi-Detention Prison) and the Pöschwies Correctional Facility (JVA Pöschwies) offer their inmates the opportunity to receive a basic education. The Pfäffikon Prison (Gefängnis Pfäffikon) is the first prison to offer education in penal institutions.

The programme «Education in penal institutions» («Bildung im Strafvollzug, BiSt») allows detained persons to catch up with their school education, mainly in reading, writing, and mathematics. Furthermore, it serves to enhance general knowledges and teaches how to use tools such as computers. The programme also promotes special skills, self-competence skills, and soft skills.

The main goals of basic education are:

  • Supporting detainees to cope with everyday life in a penal institution.
  • Improving the offenders’ chances of successful reintegration into the labour market and society in general.

The organization Swiss Workers’ Aid (Schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk SAH) offers the basic education within the scope of the educational programme «Bildung im Strafvollzug» (BiSt). In addition to the Zurich Correctional Facilities (VEZ), five other penal institutions of Northwest and Central Switzerland as well as of Eastern Switzerland support the project.

Vocational training

Depending on their suitability, detainees may choose to pursue a basic vocational training and complete their studies with a Federal Vocational Education and Training Diploma (Eidgenössisches Fähigkeitszeugnis EFZ) or with a Federal Vocational Education and Training Certificate (Eidgenössisches Berufsattest EBA). However, not all of the correctional facilities offer these vocational training programmes. Detained persons in the Facility for the Execution of Measures for Juvenile Male Delinquents in Uitikon (MZU) and in the Pöschwies Correctional Facility (JVA Pöschwies) may participate in these programmes.

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The Pöschwies Correctional Facility (JVA Pöschwies) offers its inmates various vocational training programmes, which they can complete with a diploma or a certificate. The Federal Vocational Education and Training Diploma takes three to four years, the certificate two years to complete.

Furthermore, the inmates may pursue language or IT classes and complete their studies with an internationally recognized diploma or certificate. Some detainees participate in correspondence courses offered by various educational institutions and enrol in a wide variety of classes.  

The scope of the school education in the Centre for Correctional Measures Uitikon (MZU) is to best prepare the juvenile inmates for further vocational education. The juvenile inmates may choose from various vocational programmes and complete their studies with a diploma, a certificate or with a proof of competence. 

Educational opportunities in the Zurich Pre-Trial Prisons (UGZ)

In the facilities of the Zurich Pre-Trial Prisons (UGZ), classes are held on a voluntary basis, as there is no legal obligation to provide basic education or further training to detainees in remand and security detention. In contrast to adult offenders, juvenile offenders in the Limmattal Prison are subject to compulsory school attendance.


Corrections and Rehabilitation

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