Prison guards have weapons

Justice in Brandenburg : Prison guards soon without firearms?

Potsdam - You guard felons, murderers and violent criminals. But for self-protection and emergencies, Brandenburg prison guards may soon have to do without firearms. The Ministry of Justice is seriously considering removing firearms from prison staff in the country's prisons and completely abolishing their use. Corresponding PNN research confirmed a ministry spokesman on Thursday.

In Saxony, guards no longer carry firearms either

The background to this is the ongoing recalculation of the personnel requirements in the Ministry of Justice headed by Helmuth Markov (Linke), which is necessary according to the 2013 Act, which is more focused on rehabilitation and care. A working group of the ministry has developed various models and presented them to the legal committee on Thursday. According to calculations by the working group, there would have to be 1,138 instead of the current around 980 employees in order to implement the law that has been in force since 2013. According to two other models, 1082 and 1062 positions would also be possible - but only if firearms for prison officers are completely abolished in the future. The spokesman for the ministry referred to the Free State of Saxony, where the guards also no longer carry firearms.

In order for prison officers to be allowed to carry weapons, the personnel costs are high. In addition to firearms training, officers must complete regular compulsory exercises in order to be authorized to carry weapons on duty and also to use them in an emergency. If all of this were to be eliminated completely, less time and therefore fewer staff would have to be planned. In addition, there are other adjusting screws that the working group has taken into account, such as security checks on inventory or regulations for the security check of prisoner transporters. Most of the staff could be saved by not using firearms.

"We don't know what to expect"

The Federation of Prison Staff therefore fears serious security gaps in Brandenburg's prisons. The state chairman Rainer Krone told the PNN: "I can only warn against the general abolition of firearms in the penal system." In view of the current security situation, this is dangerous, the deterrent effect is lost. “We have to keep all options open. We don't know what to expect, ”said Krone. He cited the growing number of refugees and the increasing threat of terrorism as examples. In the case of serious emergencies in the prisons, the staff there could "no longer rely on the police because they were saved to pieces".

The legal expert of the CDU parliamentary group, Danny Eichelbaum, said that if firearms are completely abolished, this would be a serious danger for the prison staff. "The security of the officers must have priority next to the prevention of outbreaks." Without officers equipped with firearms, the security in the correctional facilities can no longer be guaranteed. "This also increases the risk of violent clashes in the prisons and attempts to escape."

There are currently too few prison officers in Brandenburg's prisons

The recalculation of the personnel requirements was commissioned by Markov's predecessor Volkmar Schöneburg (Linke), the father of the Brandenburg penal law, which most experts consider to be one of the most modern and liberal penal law in Germany. The new calculation models take the new legal requirements into account for the first time. One thing is certain: there are currently far too few prison staff in Brandenburg's prisons.

"The new calculation model clearly shows that the previous personnel requirement planning in the penal system was far too tight from the start," said the Green legal expert Benjamin Raschke. “The minister is asked to make improvements here as soon as possible.” In fact, the budget for this year only provides 1010 posts. CDU legal expert Eichelbaum explained that the now calculated personnel requirements show that Markov does not adhere to the law enforced by Red-Red when imprisoning him.

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