• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

169 officers guard a single prisoner

The Local · 11 Oct 2012, 16:22

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.

Story continues below…

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
Man gets life in jail for murder of two young children
Silvio Schulz. Photo: DPA

A former security guard was handed a life sentence Tuesday for murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.

Munich shooting
German Turks mourn Munich shooting victims
Flowers for the victims. Photo: DPA

Seven of the nine victims were Muslim.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital by an elderly man, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Local List
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

These hidden spots are steeped in shadows of their past and just begging to be explored...

Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Opinion
There still hasn’t been an Isis attack on Germany
The attack site in Ansbach. Photo: DPA

The last week has been brutal and shocking, but we need to stay calm and keep the events we have witnessed in perspective, argues Jörg Luyken.

How plainclothes cops caused panic at Munich shooting
Photo: DPA

Plainclothes officers can help in fight against gun attacks. But Munich showed that they can lead to confusion in efforts to track down the real attackers.

Immigration and integration Germany's 'biggest challenge'
Migrants queuing at a reception centre in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Eighty-three percent of Germans see immigration as Germany's "biggest challenge" - that's twice as many as a year ago, and more than in any of the other countries surveyed.

Ansbach suicide attack
Sleepy Bavarian town left shocked by suicide attack
Ansbach. Photo: DPA

Residents of Ansbach were left reeling Monday after a Syrian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a music festival, shattering the sleepy calm of this picture-postcard southern German city.

Rapturous reception at Wagner fest's opening night
Bayreuther festival 2016, Parsifal. Photo: DPA

Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, got off to a rapturous start on Monday with a brand new production of the composer's last opera, "Parsifal", enthusiastically received by the first-night audience.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,806
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd