Conservatives question pink prison cells

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Conservatives question pink prison cells
Photo: DPA

Some western German prisons put angry offenders in pink cells to try to calm them down, despite there being little hard evidence that it works. Conservative politicians asked on Monday whether the “Barbie rooms” should be scrapped.


After studies in 2010 suggested that putting a person in a pink room lowered their blood pressure, four jails in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) reached for the brushes and coated several cells. Hotheaded inmates have been forced into them for the past three years, but to not much success.

And with no clear proof that it works, the conservative opposition in the state, the Christian Democrats, asked on Monday if NRW's centre-left coalition government if it had “discovered the mystical effect of a Barbie rooms” and if not, whether were they planning to end the project.

NRW's governing Social Democrats replied said “there are no clear intentions” to do so. A Dortmund prison, however, has painted over its pink cells.

Prisons in Hagen, Attendorn and Kleve are all still carrying on with the calming technique, which originated in Switzerland. Jails there and in the United States were finding that the pink cells were working on their inmates.

DPA/The Local/jcw


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