• Germany's news in English

169 officers guard a single prisoner

The Local · 11 Oct 2012, 16:22

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

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.


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

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
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd