20 percent of the places in prisons are unoccupied – Bavaria

In Bavaria’s prisons, around 20 percent of the places in prison are unoccupied. At the end of November last year, the Ministry of Justice in Munich counted exactly 9,581 prisoners with a total of 12 142 places, as a ministry spokesman announced on request. The ministry cites one reason for this that the Free State has long been committed to ensuring that substitute custodial sentences are carried out as rarely as possible.

“With the project ‘sweating instead of sitting’, the Bavarian judiciary has been giving convicts the opportunity to avert the execution of a substitute custodial sentence by doing charitable work for more than 30 years in the event of bad fines,” said the spokesman. This will then be offset against the fine imposed by the public prosecutor’s office. Since 2019 there has also been the project “Money management instead of enforcement of substitute custodial sentences”, in which the convicted person can cede social benefit claims to the authorities until the sentence has been paid. In 2020 alone, the two projects would have avoided almost 41,000 days of imprisonment, the ministry said.

In Corona times, measures to relieve the prisons would be “if necessary, adapted to the pandemic situation”. At the beginning of the pandemic, people who had to serve youth arrest, a prison sentence of up to six months or a substitute prison sentence were temporarily not invited to custody, the spokesman said. Early dismissals “did not exist” in Bavaria, however, he emphasized. In Hamburg, in view of the rapidly increasing corona numbers, prisoners who are serving a substitute custodial sentence for unpaid fines are initially released from custody.

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