“In many areas we are in fact pioneers, for instance if we look at the transition management of addicts, if you look at the path we took in the assistance of addicts and offenders, previously there was a huge separation between both areas.” (Managing Director Straffälligenhilfe gGmbH)
The social enterprise Straffälligenhilfe (assistance for offenders) Aachen is located in the city Aachen in the south-west of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW). It has a rather long history, dating back to the early 1980s, and developed out of a social movement into an association into a social enterprise with hybrid organizational and financial structures. Today the yearly financial volume reaches approximately 900,000 Euros. The main idea was, and still is, to integrate criminals, addicts and people in danger of becoming offenders due to, among other things, their addiction into society and the labor market. Therein, the social enterprise perceives itself as an anchor for those groups in danger of a criminal career. The Straffälligenhilfe was a pioneer in many respects; it focused on the integration of offenders and simultaneously combined two previously distinct areas; assistance for criminals and addicts.
The social enterprise perceives itself as interface between responsible authorities from the legal, social and security system. It provides support for families and the social environment of their target group, runs a counseling center, programs for assistant living, transition management for addicts and employment and conducts a volunteer project. Thereby the social enterprise addresses a social need and significant problem.
From the beginning the local and federal brunch of the Paritätischen Wohlfahrtsverband, one of the six major German welfare associations, was involved in and supported the development of the Straffälligenhilfe in Aachen.