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...about Imprisonment.

In the following, we present the penal institutions in Saxony-Anhalt.

A penal institution is better known as a prison.

General Information on Imprisonment

Imprisonment has two main tasks, which are described in section 2 of the Prison Code of Saxony-Anhalt (JVollzGB LSA):

1. The prisoners will be prepared for a life free of crime and

2. the public are protected from further offences committed by the prisoners.


Preparation for a life free of crime also means the reintegration (social reintegration) of the prisoner. In order to achieve this, constant and individual assistance and treatment are important. Imprisonment has the task of organising and implementing the support of prisoners from the beginning of their imprisonment.


Imprisonment offers a wide range of services in this regard. This includes, for example, individually oriented schooling, counselling and individual support, social training, and even offers of individual psychotherapy and social therapy approved on a case-by-case basis.


The penal institutions have different departments. We present some of them in the following.


Penal institutions have partly different tasks, for example, high security prisons differ from other prisons.


In addition, imprisonment in Germany are organised differently depending on the state, and there are different amounts of penal institutions with different structures.

The legal regulations for all topics of imprisonment are defined in the Penal Code of Saxony-Anhalt (JVollzGB LSA).

Penal Institutions in Saxony-Anhalt

There are currently in Saxony-Anhalt

Es gibt derzeit in Sachsen-Anhalt

  • 3 penal institution for adults (JVA Burg, JVA Halle, JVA Volkstedt)
  • 1 facility for execution of youth penalty (JA Raßnitz)
  • 1 youth detention centre (JAA Halle).

Burg Penal Institution (JVA Burg; high security prison)

The Burg penal institution is competent for

  • male adult prisoners with a penalty of imprisonment of 2 years and 6 months or more
  • male adult untried prisoner
  • male adult preventive detention
  • male adult offenders sentenced to a new penalty of imprisonment during their term of imprisonment


The penal institution has different departments:

  • remand detention
  • prison sentence
  • preventive detention (located on the grounds of the penal institution, but is separate from the other departments)
  • Social therapy for adult offenders (for adults only available in Burg)
  • Open prison (the department is located in Magdeburg)


The penal institution in Burg was built in a public-private partnership and is run jointly. This means that in addition to the state of Saxony-Anhalt, a non-public institution also implements the work in the penal institution.


The following tasks, for example, are performed by the non-public institution:

Maintenance, security support services, specialised services such as debt advice, anti-aggression training, addiction counselling, nursing services, leisure activities for prisoners and administrative support services.



More information, including information on visiting the penal institution in Burg, can be found on the website of the penal institution Burg.

Halle Penal Institution (JVA Halle)

The penal institution in Halle has a main institution and a branch prison.

The penal institution in Halle is competent for:

  • male adult prisoners from the age of 26 with a penalty of imprisonment of up to 2 years and 6 months
  • male adult untried prisoner
  • female adult prisoners (with a penalty of imprisonment of up to 3 months. For a penalty of imprisonment of more than 3 months, the women are usually placed in the penal institution in Luckau-Duben) 2For more information, see also the topic "Imprisonment for Women" below.)
  • Female juveniles and young adults in open prison


The penal institution Halle has different departments:

  • remand detention for adults (female and male)
  • prison sentence
  • open prison


At the branch prison convicts serve their sentence and it houses the open prison for men.

The main institution includes the facility for remand detention and the reception of all prisoners from the penal institution in Halle (everyone who is accommodated in Halle has to go here at first), as well as the open prison for women.



More information, including information on visiting the penal institution in Halle, can be found on the website of the penal institution Halle.

Volkstedt Penal Institution (JVA Volkstedt)

The penal institution in Volkstedt is also responsible for male adult prisoners with a penalty of imprisonment of up to 2 years and 6 months. Adult means older than 26 years of age.

Volkstedt has:

  • prison sentence and
  • an open prison


More information, including information on visiting the penal institution in Volkstedt, can be found on the website of the penal institution Volkstedt.

Raßnitz Facility for Execution of Youth Penalty (JA Raßnitz)

The juvenile institution is responsible for young people who have been sentenced under the Juvenile Court Act (JGG).

A juvenile institution pursues educational goals. The focus is on the individual potential of the inmates and many offers and measures are provided so that school-leaving qualifications can be caught up on and training can be started. Many educational offers are carried out so that the young people can develop their own personalities.


The Raßnitz Juvenile Institution accommodates young males who have been sentenced under the Juvenile Court Act or are in pre-trial detention. It also accommodates young men up to the age of 26 who have been sentenced under the Criminal Code and whose prison sentence is shorter than 2 years and 6 months.


More information, including information on visiting the penal institution in Raßnitz, can be found on the website of the JA Raßnitz website.

Halle Youth Detention Centre (JAA Halle)

Juvenile offenders from the age of 14 to 21 can be sentenced under the Youth Courts Act (JGG).

The Youth Justice Act offers many options to react to committing a crime. Most measures are hours of work, social training and others.


The youth penalty as a penalty of imprisonment is considered a serious decision. Before a youth penalty, i.e. placement in a facility for execution of youth penalty, is imposed, the court has the option of sentencing the juvenile to a detention order.

Juvenile detention is seen as the last form of sanction before the imposition of a youth penalty.


No entry in the criminal register – so, you do not have a criminal record. However, an entry in the Register of Youth Offences is likely.


Disciplinary detention cannot be suspended on probation.


The aim is to raise awareness among juveniles to take responsibility for offences committed. Detention is intended to be educational and to help juveniles to overcome difficulties leading to committing offences.


The Youth Detention Centre in Saxony-Anhalt has 22 detention places, of which 18 are for male juveniles and 4 for female juveniles.


The court can sentence a juvenile to:

  • leisure time detention – mostly over weekends
  • short-term detention – max. 4 days
  • long-term detention – 1 to 4 weeks maximum



Classes take place during the week. On weekends, for example, leisure activities mainly take place.

More information is available on the website of the youth detention centre.

Open Prison

If a person is sentenced to a prison sentence, he or she must serve it in a penal institution. The penal institution is either a prison or an open prison. Open prison has fewer security measures and prisoners can move around more freely and take part in all the leisure, sports and treatment measures offered. Nevertheless, they are supervised and looked after all day within the open prison and have to comply with conditions.


Most prisoners in open prison can engage in work if they receive authorisation from the penal institutions and have found a job. They can then leave the penal institution in the morning and have to return to the penal institution at the end of their shift and overnight. Additional time outside of the penal institution must also be approved by the institution. At the workplace, regular checks are carried out by prison staff. Employers are contractually obliged to report irregularities to the penal institution. After all, prisoners are under constant supervision and control in open prison as well, but here in a less restrictive way.


Prisoners or juvenile prisoners are given the opportunity to be transferred to the open prison if they meet certain requirements. These requirements can be fulfilled if the prison sees no danger of the prisoner fleeing or committing offences again.


Prisoners and juvenile prisoners are considered unsuitable if:

  • they are considered to be at significant risk of addiction,
  • have attempted to flee or have fled during the current deprivation of liberty,
  • they did not return voluntarily from the last short leave or leave from custody or
  • they are expected to commit a new offence.


Further reasons for unsuitability are the existence of deportation, extradition proceedings, preliminary investigation or criminal proceeding or if it is to be expected that the prisoners will exert a negative influence on other prisoners.


Imprisonment for Women

According to statistics, about 6 % of convicted people are women.

In Saxony-Anhalt has no penal institution for women serving longer penalties of imprisonment. Imprisoned women living in Saxony-Anhalt are accommodated in the penal institution in Luckau-Duben (from 3 months of imprisonment).


Only the penal institution in Halle accepts women who do not have to serve more than 3 months in prison, for example if a default imprisonment has to be served. Also the open prison of the penal institution in Halle is suitable for women.


The open prison in Halle is often used as preparations for release if the imprisoned woman has her home close by.


Women and men are always accommodated separately. To some extent, women are offered other leisure activities and other job options than men.

Detention in a Psychiatric Hospital and in a Detoxification Centre for Alcoholics or Drug Addicts (Maßregelvollzug)

In Germany, besides the imprisonment, there are also institutions for detention in a psychiatric hospital and in a detoxification centre for alcoholics or drug addicts. In German this is called Maßregelvollzug.

In institutions of the Maßregelvollzug, convicted persons who were not criminal responsible at the time of the offence are accommodated.
This means when the persons were not capable of understanding the wrong and thus could not have decided against the offence.
The reason for this can be, for example, psychological disorders or a addiction disease (drugs and alcohol).


Sentenced persons in the Maßregelvollzug are not regarded as prisoners but as patients. Therapeutic teams under specialist medical supervision take care of them. Different types of therapy are available in the Maßregelvollzug.

The aim of forensic placement is to enable persons to live an independent and crime-free life within society after therapy.


People who are not criminal responsible due to addiction are accommodated in the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic in Bernburg. Here, section 64 of the German Criminal Code applies.


People who are not criminally responsible due to a mental illness are accommodated in the Forensic Psychiatric Clinic in Uchtspringe. Here, section 63 of the German Criminal Code applies.



The state of Saxony-Anhalt has entrusted Salus gGmbH with the implementation of the Maßregelvollzug. On their website you find more information about the Maßregelvollzug.