Posted on December 14, 2018

Germany: One in Three Prison Inmates Born Abroad

Virginia Hale, Breitbart, December 13, 2018

The proportion of prison inmates housed in German jails who were born abroad has risen to 32 per cent this year, according to the latest government figures.

Federal Statistics Office data revealed that 16,267 offenders from overseas were inmates in the country’s jails as of March 31 this year — a number which has risen by almost five per cent from 2017, Die Welt reports.

Comprising just under a third of the prison population, which stands at 50,957, foreign nationals are hugely overrepresented in the system compared to their numbers in Germany, where 10.6 million aliens make up around 12 per cent of the country’s total population.

The number of prisoners recorded as German — a figure which includes aliens who have been naturalised — has continued to steadily decline since 2012, when it stood at just under 45,000, with the latest figures showing a significant drop from 36,121 last year to 34,690 at the end of March 2018.

Criminals from abroad were seen to make up higher shares of the prison population in city-states including Hamburg, where it stands at 58 per cent and Berlin, at 51 per cent, as well as in Baden-Württemberg, where foreigners make up 49 per cent of inmates jailed in the large, southwestern state.

In a report estimating that housing foreign criminals in German jails was costing taxpayers around 720 million euros a year, Die Welt noted that authorities were largely failing to use mechanisms which allow the Federal Republic to send criminals to serve jail time in their country of origin, with fewer than 200 inmates transferred to their homeland for detention each year.

And despite changes to the law in 2016, which meant delinquent migrants could be expelled from the country as soon as they are sentenced to prison, a study found that out of 700,000 migrants convicted of crimes (with the exclusion of traffic-related offences) between 2014 and 2017, only 19,342 were deported.

Furthermore, Welt reported that as of the end of 2017, 4,396 of these — or one in five — were still living in Germany.