Request for family contact may justify imprisonment
The desire for family contact and the prospect of rehabilitation can justify the detention of a prisoner. This is all the more true if the prisoner is housed in a prison more than 600 kilometers from his family and he can hardly maintain contact with his wife and children because of the route, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in Karlsruhe in a on Thursday, 13 July 2017, published decision (Ref .: 2 BvR 345/17). Image: © Bibi - fotolia
The constitutional judges found the constitutional complaint of an imprisoned Iraqi prisoner "obviously justified". The man was sentenced in 2004 to a six-year prison term for double rape and assault. Because of his deportation to Iraq, the prison sentence was initially not enforced.
Later, when he was picked up again while traveling to Finland in Germany, he should now start his prison sentence. He came to the correctional facility (JVA) Landsberg am Lech. His wife and their two children were placed more than 600 kilometers away in a first reception center in Bochum.
The prisoner applied for a transfer of custody to Bochum. His partnership suffers from the distance. In addition to marital problems, he could not see his children and help with the education.
Both the JVA and the district court of Augsburg rejected the application. Visits are not a reason for a detention. Even with other prisoners, the families do not live in the same place. In addition, he had already been transferred in early 2016 twice in the prison to Bochum for a short time, so he could see his wife and children. There is no entitlement to detention. This is solely at the discretion of the authorities, says the prison.
In its decision of June 20, 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the prison had exercised its discretion. Although there is no claim for the right of adhesion. Nevertheless, the principle of social rehabilitation obliges prisons to "counter the harmful effects of deprivation of liberty as far as possible".
"For the resocialization goal, to which the penal system is to be directed by constitution, the family relations of the prisoner have substantial importance". For the Basic Law protects the actual life and education community of parents and children.
Therefore, when examining an application for an application for a release order, the prison must always keep in mind the rehabilitation and the fundamental right to protection of marriage and family. Here, the JVA and the district court had wrongly assumed that a distance of more than 600 kilometers to the family is still acceptable.
It also plays no role in the decision on the detention, whether the prisoner is required to leave the country and only tolerated in Germany. The protection of the family also applies to a duty to leave the country.
The only short-term occasional renditions of the prisoner to Bochum would not meet the interest "in a continuous care of his family relationships," said the Federal Constitutional Court. These are not proportionate, so that here only an adhesive transfer into consideration. fle