Expatica news

Germany opens its first semi-private prison

7 December 2005

HUENFELD, GERMANY – Germany opened Tuesday its first semi- private jail, but the convicts are not to arrive till next month after the 95 private staff and 116 state-employed warders have done their training.

The central state of Hesse built the jail, but contracted out ancillary services, such as psychological counselling and catering, to a private company, Serco. The prison, at Huenfeld, has space for 502 convicts.

Serco will also be in charge of prison labour, operating the prison workshops with jobs for 370 convicts.

Until now, all jail personnel in Germany have been public officials required to swear an oath of allegiance to the state and they also operate typical jail business ventures such as sewing mailbags or welding metal furniture.

Only the state warders at Huenfeld will have authority to use force on prisoners.

State premier Roland Koch said the prison would be a testbed for new ways to make savings on the penal budget.


Subject: German news