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The prison service allows access to Internet

in some states

Internet use in prison is debated. Pilot projects are run to allow prisoners to access employment agencies and one probation assistance website. This is the case in the state of Thuringia. All other websites are blocked.
Thep risoners in safe custody (Sicherungsverwahrte) from Rosdorf prison (Göttingen) are rallying for provision of internet access. They have access to seven websites. These sites are censored.

  • The Berlin Justice senator, Dirk Behrendt, announced that prisoners in the capital would have access to the internet. Prisoners would be able to access the press and learning resources online. Social media would remain inaccessible. Prisoners would be charged for the internet access.


Some specific need of women are taken into account.

  • Post-traumatic therapy was being planned for the women’s prison in Vechta. It was be offered to women who experienced violence and is unique for Germany. The recently launched pilot project was to last until the end of the year.

    / Taz Archive

Continuity of care is ensured throughout imprisonment. It is not provided after release.

There is no coordination between prisons and public health services.

  • One of the prisoners at Untermaßfeld Prison was denied surgery to remove his stitches, saying that he had not been offered physical therapy after his wrist surgery.

    / Gefangener Gewerkschaft-Bundesweite Organisation (GG-BO)

Individual acts of protest are recorded


  • A prisoner at Goldlauter Prison went on several hunger strikes, self-harmed and attempted suicide. He was protesting against being placed in isolation and the harassment he has been subjected to since December 2020. He has now filed a complaint to the Thuringian State Parliament Petitions Committee.

    / Gefangenensolidarität Jena

Juveniles spend at least eight hours per day in their cell whilst they also have access to physical activities in fresh air and academic and vocational training. Young inmates can take part in training programmes. For example, the juvenile facility of Neustrelitz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) offers training in carpentry, metalwork, cooking and farming. Preparing inmates for reinsertion into society is carried out from the beginning of the sentence 1. They also benefit from longer visits than the adult inmates.

  1. Frieder Dünkel, “Juvenile Justice, Sentencing and Youth Imprisonment in Germany”, University of Greifswald, 2018. 

  • Currently and formerly incarcerated minors complained about the lack of activities in the Regis-Breitingen Juvenile Centre. They said that the library and gymnasium were either closed or in a state of disrepair. Activities have been suspended since 2019.

    / Gefangener Gewerkschaft-Bundesweite Organisation (GG-BO)

The prison service offers activities to prisoners


There are not enough activities to offer to all prisoners outside of work or education.

  • In early February, the detection of a positive COVID-19 case in Hamm prison led to the suspension of activities, visits and outings, in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic within the prison.


Preventative measures for epidemic and contagious diseases are implemented.

  • Thousands of tests were to be performed in early 2021 to detect COVID-19 in the prisons of North Rhenania-Westphalia.

    / Welt

Prisoners are allowed to make external phone calls

  • Prepaid mobile telephones have been offered to inmates in Hamburg prison for 20 euros. SIM cards and telephone credit must be purchased by family members outside the prison. The telephones will be returned when the health crisis is over. Tablet computers intended for video calls have been made available to inmates in a prison in North-Rhine Westphalia for 30 minutes a week. Slots for telephone calls have been extended from 35 minutes a week to 10 minutes a day.

    / Prison Observatory