Because of the corona pandemic, space had been created behind bars to keep virus outbreaks in prison manageable. There's still room there.
Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - There is currently plenty of space in the North Rhine-Westphalian prisons. The occupancy of the almost 18,950 prison places was 71.5 percent in December (as of December 14). That was 13,550 prisoners, as the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Justice announced when asked by the dpa.
This is probably due to the corona pandemic. Because of her, a whole package of measures was used to create space in the 36 NRW prisons in order to be able to isolate prisoners infected with the corona virus. "We still have some quarantine stations that are kept free," said Wolfgang Schorn, spokesman for the country's prison directorate.
Prison occupancy rates had dropped from nearly 90 percent to under 80 percent in 2020 — and now, more than two years later, are even lower. "It varies greatly from prison to prison. Some are quite well filled," it said.
Prison occupancy rates fluctuate over the course of the year. It is lower at the end of the year and at the beginning of the year as a result of the Christmas amnesty. This year, 291 people were released early because of the amnesty.
The pandemic is unlikely to have had an impact on the number of people in preventive detention. As of the reporting date, it was 154 prisoners - exclusively men. Compared to the previous year with 148 persons in preventive detention, this was a slight increase.