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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

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.

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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.
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