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Surfing in prison? Pilot project plans controlled internet access for prisoners

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Surfing in prison?  Pilot project plans controlled internet access for prisoners

Plans for a pilot project that will provide prisoners in Baden-Württemberg with internet access will begin as early as 2022. Now the implementation should follow.

Source: Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

It is now hard to imagine life without internet access. No matter whether at work or at home, you are constantly connected to the Internet. However, this does not apply to German prisons. There was previously a strict internet ban there. Most matters there are still handled by correspondence. But that should now change. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The tender is currently being prepared and its technical feasibility in correctional facilities is being examined.”“.

It has not yet been determined which of the correctional facilities should be equipped with Internet access and Internet-enabled devices. This depends, among other things, on how the prisons offer so-called prison room media systems. In the first phase of the project, open enforcement will probably be an option.

Internet for better reintegration

In 2022, plans for a pilot project were announced by the Alliance 90/The Greens and CDU coalition factions as well as the Ministry of Justice. It was said that the project should start in 2024, but so far there are no concrete facts and figures regarding its implementation. The aim of the project is better preparation for the time after prison – i.e. resocialization. Arnulf Freiherr von Eyb, spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group for legal policy matters, also spoke of “corresponding restrictions” that will accompany its use by prisoners. For example, internet usage in the cells should be controlled.

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Around 200,000 euros were allocated for the pilot project. This is intended, among other things, to make it easier for prisoners to reintegrate. According to the Ministry of Justice, the planned cell media systems include telephone and internet applications, as well as digital services such as films, music, e-learning, pastoral care and an internal correctional bulletin board. A concept developed specifically for detention rooms is intended to ensure safe and controlled handling of these media systems.

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