Can you bring food to the prisoners?

Essen correctional facility: letters and parcels

Source: © RainerSturm / PIXELIO

On this page you can find out everything you need to know about letters and parcels. So whether and how many packets a prisoner may receive. You can also read how the receipt of letters is regulated and what restrictions there are.

Parcel traffic (prisoners)

Parcel traffic by prisoners is regulated in Section 28 of the North Rhine-Westphalia Prison Act (StVollzGNRW).

According to this, the receipt of parcels requires the permission of the institution. Parcels containing food and beverages as well as parcels that are likely to endanger the security and order of the institution are excluded from receipt.

For security reasons, every incoming package must be opened in the presence of the prisoner and the contents checked. Excluded items can be added to the prisoners' belongings, returned to the sending person, or destroyed.

In addition, prisoners can be allowed to send packages. The establishment can check their content for reasons of security or order of the establishment.

Correspondence (prisoners)

Correspondence for prisoners is regulated in Sections 21 - 23, Sections 25 and 26 of the North Rhine-Westphalia Prison Act (StVollzGNRW). Accordingly, the prisoner basically has the right to send and receive letters without restriction. The prison management can prohibit correspondence with certain persons if

  • the security or order of the institution would be jeopardized,
  • It is to be feared that contact with persons who are not relatives of the prisoners in accordance with Section 11 (1) No. 1 of the Criminal Code has a harmful influence on the prisoners or hinders their integration,

The prisoner bears the postage costs.

Parcel traffic (prisoners on remand)

Parcel traffic for prisoners on remand is regulated in Section 20 of the Pretrial Detention Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with reference to Section 28 of the Prison Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (StVollzGNRW).

According to this, the receipt of parcels requires the permission of the institution. Parcels containing food and beverages as well as parcels that are likely to endanger the security or order of the institution are excluded from receipt.

For security reasons, every incoming package must be opened in the presence of the prisoners and the contents checked. Excluded items can be added to the prisoners' belongings, returned to the sending person, or destroyed.

In addition, prisoners can be allowed to send packages. The establishment can check their content for reasons of security or order of the establishment.

Thereafter, the prisoner on remand may receive parcels with prior approval from the correctional facility. Content that is likely to endanger the security or order of the institution, as well as food and beverages, is excluded from reception.

The incoming packages are opened in the presence of the prisoner on remand. Objects that are not permitted can be taken for his or her possession, returned or, if there are special reasons for preventing their storage or return, they can be destroyed.

In justified exceptional cases, prisoners on remand can be allowed to send packages. The correctional facility should review their contents for reasons of security or order.

Correspondence (prisoners on remand)

The regulation for the correspondence of the prisoners on remand can be found in § 18 Pretrial Detention Act North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Accordingly, the prisoner on remand may in principle send and receive letters without restriction.

In principle, a letter control only takes place if this has been expressly ordered by a judge to avert the risk of escape, blackout or repetition.

The prisoner on remand bears the postage costs.