Why are district prisons more beautiful than prisons?

Aargau Solothurn - Space shortage in Aargau district prisons: no solution in sight

The three Aargau district prisons in Bad Zurzach, Bremgarten and Laufenburg cannot be closed. The canton had provided for this in its concept. Only: there are too many prisoners. So all cells are occupied or even overcrowded.

The prisons are overcrowded

There are several reasons for the full prisons: "People stay longer in custody today, multiple offenders are punished more severely, the canton's Crime Stop campaign resulted in 100 additional arrests in 2012", Roland Hengartner, head of the district prisons section of the canton of Aargau, told Radio SRF.

A utilization of 87 percent means full utilization for a prison. “A prison still has some flexibility if the police arrest a gang, carry out a raid or a demonstration,” says Roland Hengartner. "At the moment, however, the district prisons are 99 percent full, in other words overcrowded."

One cell becomes two

One possible solution to the space problem is to convert the prison cells. One cell becomes two. Two inmates (including wet room) then live in around 12 square meters. The canton has created a total of 27 beds in the 7 district prisons.

“It's not that easy for the staff. More people also mean more potential for conflict. That's why we need more staff, ”said Roland Hengartner in an interview with the regional journal. In March, the Aargau parliament decides on the approval of more staff and, of course, on higher costs.

District prison Kulm is considered modern

One of the Aargau district prisons is located in Unterkulm, in a district administration building with a police station and offices. It is in the middle of the village. & Nbsp; The prison is on the 2nd floor. A total of 17 cells and 9 employees belong to it. Head Daniel Lemp knows: “We have to be well organized. We have very different cases, from driving in a drunk state to being a serious criminal ”.

The Kulm District Prison was built in 1991 and is considered modern. There is a walking courtyard on the roof. Every prisoner is entitled to one hour of free time per day.

Old prisons also remain in operation

The prisons Bad Zurzach, Bremgarten and Laufenburg actually do not comply with the current regulations. Bremgarten, for example, does not have a walking yard. Prisoners have to be guided through the town for an hour a day. A huge personnel expense.

Nevertheless, you need every space at the moment, says Roland Hengartner, head of the district prisons section. “In the medium term, the space problem will not get any better. The redevelopment of the Lenzburg prison is a ray of hope, ”continues Hengartner.

Little help from the canton of Bern

Another possible solution is to work with other cantons. A request has already been made in the canton of Bern, says Hengartner. The answer: There might be four to six places available for prisoners from Aargau in the Burgdorf regional prison.

The extra-cantonal aid could thus alleviate the space problem in the Aargau prisons somewhat. But it is not a correct solution.