New Zurich jail calls for volunteers to serve time

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 8 Feb, 2022 Updated Tue 8 Feb 2022 14:27 CEST
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Ever wanted to see what prison is like from the inside? Here's your chance. Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

Has Covid isolation whetted your appetite for a bit more solo time? Then you're in luck.

The new Zurich West prison has put out a call for volunteers to spend several nights in the jail to test it out before it accepts actual prisoners.

Those who opt to serve time would do so on a voluntary basis, i.e. no payment or reimbursements will be received, although you’ll get three prison meals a day (meat-based, vegetarian or Halal) and plenty of peace and quiet. 

People will spend four days in prison. Anyone who wants to be involved must live in Zurich or work for the canton, be at least 18 years old and agree to a security check before taking part. 

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The prison term will last from Thursday, March 24, 12p.m. to Sunday, March 27, 10a.m.

Anyone who doesn’t take to prison life will be allowed to leave early, i.e. you do not need to serve the full four days. 

‘There are only winners in this situation’

Prison officials have extolled the virtues of the program, saying people can get a real idea of how it feels to be in prison - without having to commit a crime. 

“There are only winners in this test operation. As a participant, you can experience in a safe environment how it might feel for a real arrested person to suddenly be locked up.” 

“Make your own comparison between fiction from various series and reality in Switzerland.”

For anyone looking for a fun and romantic idea in the lead up to Valentines Day, officials say that couples can participate, although prisoners will be separated according to gender. 

Registrations to take part in the voluntary imprisonment started on Saturday at midday and will remain open until February 13th. 

Those interested can find out more about the program and register at the following link. 



The Local 2022/02/08 14:27

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