Are pets prisoners

Pets for dangerous offenders : Now cats are going to jail

Now they are living behind bars quite legally, the kittens. So far, "Minka" and later a second cat have only been tolerated in Berlin's largest prison. The prison management has acquired several new cats, firstly to make the prisoners happy and secondly to make them better people. The new home for the cats is the new house for those in safe custody; the animals are currently being accustomed to life behind bars in a separate room on the ground floor. People in preventive detention are perpetrators who, due to their dangerousness, have to remain in prison even after they have served their sentences.

But as always in Tegel, there is trouble when the judiciary tries something new. A person in preventive detention protested in writing against the “penning up” of the animals and that “the building will be converted into a stable”. The head of the institution, Martin Riemer, wrote the answer himself, it is available in the Tagesspiegel. "Experience to date with animals in the penal system has shown that dealing with animals generally promotes social skills such as consideration, patience, frustration tolerance and perseverance and the development of a sense of responsibility", Riemer writes to Hans Herbert (name changed). And gives Herbert a tip: "If you don't want direct contact with the animals, just pass through this area."

The fact that the asylum has a very close eye on all inmates is also evident from the letter to Herbert: “On November 17th, 2014 at 1:45 p.m., a member of staff saw you trying to contact the cats yourself by contacting them caressed ”, it says literally in the letter from the beginning of December.

Herbert, who has lived in Tegel for almost 20 years, actually likes cats, as he had told the Tagesspiegel. It is just annoying that the cats are "accustomed" to the room in which the shopping is supposed to be spent. This is now happening "in the cold and wet on the farm," criticized one prisoner. Such complaints are the order of the day in Berlin's largest prison. Some time ago, the long-term prisoners were given a new leisure room with table tennis. Result: complaints about noise.

Cats were already living in the old wing for those in safe custody; they were looked after by staff and some inmates. When the Tagesspiegel reported on it in the summer, the management of the prison referred to "veterinary costs and possible allergies". "Keeping small animals is neither generally allowed nor prohibited," said the judiciary in July. As reported, the architects of the new house have planned a space for “keeping small animals” in the open space next to the sports field. Now there is actually new life in jail.

Now new: We give you Tagesspiegel Plus for free for 30 days! To home page