ARCHIV - 08.02.2018, Berlin: Sicherheitsleuchten und Überwachungskameras sind vor einem Gebäude auf dem Gelände der Justizvollzugsanstalt Tegel zu sehen. Knapp einen Monat nach seiner spektakulären Flucht aus dem Gefängnis in Berlin-Tegel soll ein 24-Jähriger in Belgien bei einem Diebstahl erwischt und festgenommen worden sein. (zu "Aus Tegel entflohener Häftling soll in Belgien erwischt worden sein" vom 07.03.2018) Foto: Paul Zinken/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

A well-known prisoner, an unaccompanied exit and an escape – the search for a convicted murderer caused a stir in political Berlin. Such incidents are not only extremely rare, they have also become increasingly rare in recent years. The number of escapes after prison leave, leave and leave was recently less than 100 cases per year. In the 1990s there were up to 400 such escapes a year.

The current debate was triggered by the escape of a murderer from the environment of a rocker network: Koray T. shot a 32-year-old at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg in 2016 after a dispute. T. and his brother-in-law were associated with the Hells Angels. On August 26, after an unaccompanied, approved exit, T. did not return to the prison in Tegel, where he was serving his eight-year prison sentence in a closed prison, which he was only able to leave in exceptional cases and before the day of the escape, only with guards.

The Tagesspiegel has concrete figures on similar cases for open and closed execution over the last 30 years. In Berlin, for example, after almost 64,000 prison sentences were relaxed in 1992, i.e. leave from prison and going out and out, a total of 364 inmates did not return to the respective prison; In 2002, after around 105,700 prison sentences were relaxed, there were still 152 and in 2012 after almost 270,000 relaxations, there were 113 prisoners. Because of the corona measures, the figures for 2020 and 2021 are not very meaningful. In the pre-pandemic year 2019, 76 prisoners did not return to the respective institution voluntarily, with almost 180,000 prison sentences being relaxed.

Most of the escaped prisoners, whether from open or closed prisons, turned themselves in after an escape or were found by investigators. The number of “non-returnees” in the Berlin JVA has fluctuated over the years because the number of approved relaxations of enforcement has increased and decreased in the meantime. The trend, however, is clear: Fewer inmates are using relaxation to escape. In the 1990s, a prisoner escaped on average after almost 0.5 percent of all vacations and days out. In the noughties, the rate dropped to less than 0.1 percent. Since 2010, it has barely exceeded 0.05 percent.

Justice Senator Lena Kreck (left) reacted on Wednesday to allegations from the opposition that serious criminals were given prison relief too quickly. Prisoners have a right to resocialisation, Kreck told the Tagesspiegel: “Part of this work is also the relaxation of prison terms, the granting of which will be decided after intensive examination in a regulated procedure. Of course, the current case of non-return to Tegel prison will be comprehensively examined. ” She hopes, said the senator, that the search for the 28-year-old who fled will quickly lead to his arrest.

Berlin police officers are looking for Koray T. It is feared that the person they are looking for has fled abroad. The opposition is also concerned with increasing the pressure on Justice Senator Kreck. Nevertheless, the legal experts of all factions know that escapes are rare – and were particularly common in those years in which the CDU provided the Justice Senator.

“Above all, we want the legal committee to clarify how this prisoner of all people benefited from the relaxation,” said the CDU justice expert Alexander J. Herrmann. “It is about a murderer who killed with a firearm and fled to Turkey after the crime. The senator must be able to explain well that this man was given unescorted exit, while even thieves are not always granted this.”

The number of actual escapes from a prison, i.e. escapes from a closed and guarded building, is also low: depending on the year, zero to four inmates escape, almost always men. In 1994 more than 4,000 men and women were imprisoned in Berlin. The city grew, in 2007 nearly 5,300 people were imprisoned. Since then, the number of prisoners has fallen again and is currently 3,500.