• Germany's news in English
 

169 officers guard a single prisoner

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

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)

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
Cologne's giant bomb successfully defused
The bomb was burrowed deep in the ground. Photo: DPA

Cologne's giant bomb successfully defused

Bomb disposal teams have successfully made a 1,000-kilo explosive dropped during the Second World War safe, allowing 20,000 evacuated people to return to their homes. READ  

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records
Anti-surveillance demonstrators in Berlin's Alexanderplatz in 2013. Photo: DPa

Cabinet revives plan to grab internet records

Germany's coalition government agreed on a draft law on Wednesday requiring telecoms companies to keep customers' data for up to ten weeks in case they are needed by security services, riling digital rights activists. READ  

The Local List
Germany's most idyllic swimming spots
Photo: Celsius / Wikimedia Commons.

Germany's most idyllic swimming spots

A European ranking released last week showed that Germany had one of the highest numbers of 'excellent' lakes and rivers for swimming, so The Local picked out some of the best places to take a dip in Germany this summer. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
Germany to take most in refugee quota project
The German navy rescues refugees in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA.

Germany to take most in refugee quota project

Germany found out on Wednesday it will have to take in the largest number of refugees under the European Commission's new quota system which aims to rehouse 60,000 people over the next two years. READ  

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best
A worker assembling motors at a Magdeburg factory. Photo: DPA

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best

Germany is behind only China and the USA as a destination for foreign investment, a study has shown. READ  

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty
Photo: DPA

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government tricked the public into believing the USA was prepared to sign a so-called 'no-spy agreement' with Germany ahead of elections in 2013, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed on Wednesday. READ  

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman
Photo: DPA

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman

Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for the fifth straight year but Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels, the magazine said on Tuesday. READ  

German public shop with renewed confidence
People throng the halls of the Milaneo shopping centre in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

German public shop with renewed confidence

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest in 13.5 years, as the positive economic outlook and low inflation persuade consumers to open their purses, a poll found on Wednesday. READ  

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch
Locals enjoy the normally tranquil Seeburger See

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch

A couple of friends who went for a quiet spot of fishing on Lake Seeburg in Lower Saxony on Monday got the fright of their life when they pulled up their net to find an artillery shell inside. READ  

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday
Leipzig's impressive skyline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday

This weekend the city of Leipzig is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary, since it was first mentioned by the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015. The Local gives some insight into one of Germany's most vibrant cities. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

6,693
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd