Serafimowka is a special boarding school in the middle of the Russian province. The 50 boys who go to school here all have a criminal past. The drill starts every morning at 6.45 a.m. Until 9 p.m., it means, among other things: sport, school lessons, kitchen service. Military toughness, iron discipline and non-stop employment should turn criminal young people into ordinary citizens of Russia and prepare them for an independent life outside the boarding school.
The documentary by filmmaker Niko Karasek illuminates the hard everyday life in juvenile detention, but also the attention and care given by her educators, which many boys experience here for the first time after a childhood without parental security. ntv shows "Between prison and children's room – juvenile detention in Russia" on March 25th at 10:10 p.m. in German first broadcast.
Living in step, military drill and discipline. Criminal adolescents are to be brought back on the right path in Russia's Serafimovka re-education center. In the middle of nowhere in the Russian province, surrounded by high walls, are underage thieves, gang members and even murderers. Little boys with big criminal careers. Almost all of them come from precarious backgrounds, their parents are addicted to alcohol or drugs, are in prison themselves or no longer live. Despite the daily schedule and little space for your own thoughts, interests and possessions, Serafimowka offers criminal youth more prospects than an adult prison. The focus of everyday life is school education, sports, handicrafts and household activities in preparation for a regulated life in freedom.
The 15-year-old Daniil has been there for two and a half years: “If I were outside now, where I was just hanging out, I hadn't learned, then I wouldn't be able to do anything. I would probably be in the children's home, maybe in the real prison soon. And here I at least learn to cope with life. ”As one of the boys who have been in Serafimowka the longest, he is now also the head boy for the other boys: then I intervene. I'm head boy, I'm talking to them. ”Daniil will be released in a few months. After that, like most boys here, he wants to help his mother: “When I come out, I first want to look for work to help my parents. My mom is in jail, I have to help her somehow, send money and things like that. ”His long-term goal: to become an architect. Every third graduate later worked for the Russian military. Officers regularly visit the facility to recruit the boys.
But the documentary also shows another side of Serafimowka: Many boys who arrive here are malnourished, intimidated and always with their mothers in their thoughts. They often develop very close relationships with the teachers and educators in the institution. The employees become substitute mothers who build up the boys' self-confidence, strengthen their skills and let them feel close. Sofia Vakhitova, educator, says: "Sometimes they say 'hello mother' to me when I come to school and they do sports in the yard. Then they say: 'Hello mom!' Or 'Good afternoon, mother!' That happens. ”Despite her retirement age, she continues to work in Serafimowka because she misses her boys too much on vacation. Florida Garejewa, a teacher, sees no big differences to children in normal schools. Only that the boys here do not know love, warmth, care and attention. According to school director Raschit Adnagulow, 70 to 80 percent of the boys in Serafimowka manage to lead an orderly life.
"Between prison and children's room – juvenile in Russia" runs on March 25th at 10:10 p.m. at ntv. The documentation will also be available on demand from TVNOW.