20 Mar

The conditions in Bavarian prisons

Descriptions from the Jamnitzer Solikreis on the situation in the Bayreuth correctional facility

We haven’t just known that prison sucks since today. We also know that the conditions in prisons are hardly bearable and that prisons do not achieve what they are supposed to according to the law. Nevertheless, it is always shocking to hear how prisoners are treated. The only daily contact with the outside world is the view out of the window. But there’s not much to see in Bayreuth, because the prison relies on double-glazed windows.

Double-glazing is illegal even under current law, and the prison prefers to pay annual fines instead of removing the illegal bars. The Arbeitskreis kritischer Strafvollzug also calls this inhumane.(https://docplayer.org/58771096-Rundbrief-januar-arbeitskreis-kritischer-strafvollzug-e-v.html)

But not only is the view outside taken away, direct contact with relatives is also made more difficult. Mail is not only read, the correctional facility also has the option of censoring letters or not handing them over. In addition, the post office in Bayreuth is closed on Saturdays. This means that prisoners have one day less in which to have contact with the outside world. Making phone calls, which is essential for many prisoners, also proves to be extremely difficult at Bayreuth Prison. Apart from the fact that telephone calls via the telephone monopoly prison provider Telio are completely overpriced, all prisoners in Bavaria are entitled to two telephone calls a month, but telephone consultation hours are only available on a few days a week. The rush is great, and not everyone gets a call. For the relatives, this means waiting several days for an uncertain call. For the prisoners, it means having even less contact with the outside world.

Due to the impossible phone times, prisoners often have to choose between eating and making phone calls. For many, both are impossible because of overlapping schedules. After this trade-off, it’s back to the cell. In most cells in Bayreuth, 5 prisoners sit on 15m². This corresponds to 3m² per prisoner. Once again, the prison does not abide by its own laws. A prisoner is entitled to 7m² of “floor space” in a communal cell, and 9m² in a single cell. In addition, every prisoner has the right to a single cell. However, this is not the standard, on average, four to six people sit on a cell.

It is not only the spatial accommodation that makes everyday life difficult to endure; another problem is the procurement of everyday supplies. In Bavaria, prisoners have a monthly allowance of €56. If they do not receive any financial support from the outside, it is as little as €37. 37 euros a month for everything you need to live. However, this does not correspond to the purchasing power, outside the walls, because in the prison kiosk everything is much more expensive. This is due to the fact that the company “Massak” has a nationwide monopoly here and can thus determine the prices. In real terms, this all too often means having to choose between hygiene products and tobacco or coffee.

Even a job does not really improve the financial situation, since hourly wages are about one euro. Unsurprisingly, working conditions are also miserable. One prisoner, for example, was fired after he demanded gloves for working on sharp metal parts. Getting another job is difficult, as jobs are assigned on the basis of compulsory work. All prisoners in Bavaria must work by law. Thus Bavaria is among the last four federal states, in which forced labor for prisoners prevails.

If work is refused, punitive transfer to a separate tract follows, with worse prison conditions. In Bayreuth this is tract A0: The tract is located in the basement and the windows here are even triple barred. In addition, the prisoners are locked in their cells for 22 hours a day, which is considerably less time than usual. The consequences for physical and mental health are obvious. This shows how much value is placed on the health of the detainees. Medical care within the correctional facility is conceivably poor. In the case of acute problems, an application must first be made. Treatment by a doctor does not take place until a week later, when the complaints have usually gone away. Even greater problems arise when a specialist is needed, and the waiting times are even longer. Health problems are not uncommon in prison. Due to lack of exercise and inadequate nutrition, it often comes to illnesses.Here it is all the more scandalous that there is no adequate health care.

As if that were not enough, some prisoners face additional harassment. This is also the case with Jan. From arbitrary transfers to being denied a job. He is also denied access to basic educational opportunities. It is no secret that this harassment is about his leftist, political views and the solidarity he experiences. A deliberate effort is being made to prevent Jan from networking with other prisoners and to prevent the formation of a culture of help among prisoners. Unpredictable transfers are intended to permanently deprive him of the opportunity to get used to his surroundings. Most recently, he was moved to A0, although Jan is willing to work. He was also refused a job as a domestic worker without giving any reason. But we do not leave Jan alone with this. We, that is the solicitor’s circle Jamnitzer – freedom for Jan. We have founded ourselves, because of the events around the Jamnitzerplatz in Nuremberg. After Jan’s conviction we have begun to carry out public work and support Jan of course also in his prison time.

As long as prisons exist, we demand a dignified treatment of all prisoners. The conditions are unacceptable!

For the release of all political prisoners!

However, we do not want to create a division between the prisoners at this point. For us it is clear that no prisoner deserves to be imprisoned under such circumstances.write letters to Jan and other prisoners and let them know that they are not alone.this prison system affects us all, let us be in solidarity with each other, do not forget our prisoners and no longer accept the conditions in the prisons.

More Information: jamnitzer.noblogs.org

Kontakt: solikreis-jamnitzer@riseup.net

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