Baden-Württemberg: Many prisons in the state are overcrowded

Prisoners are crowding the Southwest detention centers.

Baden-Württemberg: Many prisons in the state are overcrowded

Prisoners are crowding the Southwest detention centers. Many prisons are overwhelmed.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - In the prisons in Baden-Württemberg, space is becoming scarce. Most prisons were overcrowded as of October 31, as the Ministry of Justice informed the German Press Agency in Stuttgart when asked. The capacity of the Mannheim JVA is 611 inmates, but there were 649 inmates at the time. In the Bruchsal JVA, the upper limit is actually 401 prisoners, but the actual occupancy at the end of October was 425 prisoners. In order to accommodate all the people, inmates are being asked if they can put another bed in their cell, a ministry spokesman said. No prisoner is forced to double occupancy.

According to the ministry, the occupancy situation in the penal system has been tense since the beginning of 2016 due to a significant increase in the number of prisoners, especially in the closed male prison. The average utilization of the closed prison is currently around 96 percent - and the trend is clearly rising. "Even the Christmas amnesty has not led to any significant relief here," said the spokesman. Around 200 prisoners benefited from the so-called Christmas amnesty of the judiciary this year and got out of prison early.

In the penal system, one speaks of full occupancy from as little as 90 percent, since the prisons have to keep space free in order to be able to guarantee legal separation requirements, for example. So you can't put every sex offender in a cell with other prisoners or accommodate smokers with non-smokers, the spokesman explained. The ministry also speaks of "enforcement backlogs" from the time of the pandemic, which would now be reduced and would lead to an even higher occupancy.

One solution to the problem is the construction and expansion of prisons. In 2023, new capacities will be put into operation in Stuttgart, Heimsheim and Schwäbisch Hall, for example, and the ministry announced that several hundred places will be gained as a result. However, around 200 places in various prisons were also lost due to renovations that were to be carried out in the next few years. "Therefore there is an urgent need for the 500 additional prison places that are planned with the new construction of the Rottweil correctional facility," the ministry said.

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