German lags are choosing to fork out cash to extend their stay in the country’s ‘luxurious’ prisons for up to half a year after serving their sentence.
The bizarre option is available at prisons in the German state of Bavaria, where last year six inmates voluntarily opted for an extended stay in prison after serving their sentence according to the state’s Ministry of Justice.
One ex-prisoner even chose to stay half a year more than his original prison sentence in 2018.
The option was introduced after laws were passed in 2008 and 2013 which were originally meant as a measure not to jeopardise the rehabilitation of prisoners under special care by releasing them from prison too early.
The measure was especially meant for youth offenders, sex offenders and those deemed to be a risk to society.
According to local media, the authorities could in principle demand the voluntary inmates pay for the cost of the extended stay behind bars.
A ministry spokeswoman said: “The assertion is however omitted when it is necessary as not to jeopardise the reintegration of former prisoners into the community.”
According to his ministry, the preparation of the prisoners for their release plays an important role in the functioning of the state’s jail system.
Bavaria’s Minister of Justice Georg Eisenreich said: “The rehabilitation of prisoners has a high priority in the Bavarian prison system. We want to prepare the prisoners as best as possible for a life without crimes.”
German prisons are considered to be quite luxurious and in some cases facilities offered to the biggest criminals caused widespread outrage.
Local media reported that child murderer Magnus Gaefgen is now spending his life sentence in a single prison cell at a jail in the city of Kassel with flat screen TV with 40 channels and can freely use a fitness room and play badminton and football with other inmates, have barbecue parties, and is even allowed “cuddle time” with his visiting girlfriend.
Daily ‘Bild’ reported that the Heidering prison in the capital of Berlin is “better equipped than many school buildings” after getting a “prestigious” 118 million EUR makeover.
Prison director Anke Stein said: “It is not good if we release people who have not learned a recreational structure.”