Coronavirus special threat: NRW spares 1000 prisoners – at times


The corona virus poses a very special threat to prisons. North Rhine-Westphalia is now reacting and announces that it will release numerous prisoners and will try to anticipate criticism of the measure immediately.
The North Rhine-Westphalian state government wants to release prisoners early because of the Corona crisis. In the event of an outbreak of the disease in prisons, he needs around 1,000 free cells to create quarantine zones, said North Rhine-Westphalias Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach in Dusseldorf. But: “There is no Corona discount,” emphasized Biesenbach.

The only issue is an interruption or a postponement of detention. For less serious cases, detention is to be interrupted with sentences of up to one and a half years if they were served by the end of July. This does not apply to sex offenders and serious violent offenders and deportation candidates. It is also about prisoners serving prison sentences for unpaid fines.

With them the beginning of detention should be postponed or the detention should also be suspended. So far, there have been no prisoners infected with the corona virus, said Biesenbach. Visits to prisons had already been largely restricted. In return, more calls were made and, in the open execution, the use of cell phones was also allowed by the hour.

In Belgium prisoners sew masks

Prisoners also make headlines in other countries – albeit in a very different way. In Belgium, prisoners have started to manufacture protective masks against the corona virus. The prisons had special textiles for 11,000 masks, but they lacked sewing machines, the Belga news agency reported on Friday. The authorities therefore called for the donation or lending of semi-industrial or industrial sewing machines to the detention centers.

There were reports of fleeing prisoners from Brazil and Italy. More than 1,300 men were towed from at least four prisons in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. Shortly afterwards, the police caught 500 again. In Italy, 72 inmates fled from an institution in Foggia in the south of the country two weeks ago. Previously, thousands of prisoners across Italy had protested a new ban on visits.

In the future, the US is likely to hit the headlines. There, 2.2 million people are behind bars – more than in any other country. Experts warn that infections with the highly contagious pathogen could spread rapidly in overcrowded prisons.

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