• Germany edition
 
169 officers guard a single prisoner
Photo: DPA

169 officers guard a single prisoner

Published: 11 Oct 2012 16:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Oct 2012 16:22 GMT+02:00

A deportation detention centre in Berlin is now practically empty, with just one prisoner left awaiting deportation. But there are still 169 officers currently being paid to guard him.

Berlin Interior Minister Frank Henkel admitted to members of the Green and Pirate Parties last week that only one person was currently being held in the former East German women's prison, though there is space for 214 inmates, the Berliner Zeitung reported.

To guard the detainee, 169 police officers are available, which according to Henkel, at a cost of nearly €1 million per month.

The anti-deportation initiative, the Berlin Refugee Council and the opposition are all calling for the detention centre to be closed. The initiative said the sole detainee was being kept in solitary confinement-like conditions. Police did not comment.

The situation at Grünau is not new, the Berliner Zeitung reported. For some time now the centre has only been used at 20 percent of capacity, part of a nationwide decline in deportations prompted by changes in immigration law and the expansion of the European Union to include Bulgaria and Romania.

Berlin is currently in talks with the state of Brandenburg on the possibility of a combined detention centre located in the eastern town of Eisenhüttenstadt. Henkel said it would probably not be possible close the centre in Grünau at the moment, because its presence was mandated by the law.

The Local/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:58 October 11, 2012 by reallybigdog
Really quite simple as the other 168 officers are required to change light bulbs!
17:44 October 11, 2012 by Bulldawg82
@ reallybigdog: LOL! So the real headline should read: "How many officers does it take to change a light bulb"?
18:51 October 11, 2012 by almorr
That prisoner has the prison to himself, I am sure he will not want to run a way, not exactly overcrowding.
19:53 October 11, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Is it just me, or does this sound like a remake of Spandau Prison and Rudolph Hess?
21:29 October 11, 2012 by Karl_Berlin
Wouldn't it be so f*cking great if he managed to escape?
21:56 October 11, 2012 by wood artist
@bwjijstdt

That was my exact first thought.

As for the article contents? Considering there is only one prisoner, I guess the comparison with "solitary confinement" is pretty automatic, isn't it? The fact that the prisoner isn't "allowed to interact" with other prisoners is a statistical accident, not a planned part of punishment. Considering that most deportees are not charged with serious crimes, and there don't seem to be too many of them, why not close this building and house them...when there are any...in some other facility. Does the law really say "this building must exist" or does it simply say they must be held somewhere?

Whatever, this is low-hanging fruit and should easily be cut.

@reallybigdog

The real problem is that they're likely paying to light all those light bulbs.

wa
22:23 October 11, 2012 by zeddriver
Isn't this one of the tenets of a quasi socialist society? Work for everyone and with good pay/benefits. Doesn't really matter that there isn't any work to do. The German citizens still have about 40-50% of their pay checks after taxes. Seems a fair trade. Give the politicians your money. They will make sure everyone is taken care of.
23:53 October 11, 2012 by Indischerr
If such a thing as prison abuse does exist there, then God help her!
07:42 October 12, 2012 by hech54
My thoughts exactly.....Rudolph Hess.
09:23 October 12, 2012 by pjnt
I would guess the guards are under contract and with labour laws so tight in Germany no one knows what to do with them. I would also guess once they can be relocated, made redundant or terminated this building will come off the books.

There is a price to pay for excessive bureaucracy and this is a part of it.

169 jobs, which is probably 169 families are tied to the building. This has probably been swept under the proverbial carpet for years and unfortunately for the current leader needs to be dealt with.
14:46 October 12, 2012 by Zobirdie
Send them over to collect the refugees in Oranienplatz! :)
22:30 October 12, 2012 by quiller
What's the problem?
23:00 October 12, 2012 by Edward Teach
Machen Sie sie gehen und runden alle der Illegalen, so dass sie ihr Geld verdienen können.
Today's headlines
Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final
Members of the German Fed Cup Team celebrate after an earlier victory in the tournament. Photo: DPA

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. READ () »

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,102
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd