Austria: “Nobody knew how to deal with the virus”

Two penitentiary facilities, two years of Coronavirus, two incarcerated men.

– A series of articles: Behind bars in Austria (1/3)

Sarah Yolanda Koss is an independent journalist based in Vienna. In the past year, she conducted an extensive investigation on the impacts of COVID-19 in Austrian penitentiary facilities, funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Sarah shared with Prison Insider three perspectives on prison life and its aftermaths. Read the first one.

Capacities have been lagging for years


Cells became scarce for the sake of solitary confinement, rooms that were usually used for leisure time got transformed into cells.

“We are often criticised, but what are we supposed to do? When the police arrest, we must house the new arrivals somewhere”


“There has been no initiative to free vulnerable people from prison as fast as possible. This disillusioned me.”