Europe

Foreigners Make Up for 58% of Prisoners in Germany

Over 923,000 foreign nationals are serving time in prisons throughout Germany, with some states having more foreign than German prisoners.

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The share of foreigners has increased by 18 per cent in 2023, with the proportion of foreign suspects reaching 41 per cent while the share of immigrant suspects being 20 per cent, Schengen.News reports.

Nationalities that are most common among detainees include Turks, Poles, Syrians, Afghans, Algerians as well as Russians.

Prisons in Hamburg, Berlin & Hesse Have Most Foreigners

Hamburg has the highest number of prisoners in Germany and, subsequently, the share of foreigners is also higher than in other states.

According to the Senate, foreigners represent 58 per cent of the prisoners in Hamburg. As NIUS reports the number of prisoners without passports serving time in Hamburg reaches 1,251. The majority of them come from Turkiye (149) Poland (128), and Afghanistan (84).

In Berlin, foreigners make up 56 per cent of prisoners or a total of 2,110 people. The most often sentenced nationalities include Poles, Turks, Serbs, Georgians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Syrians, Lebanese, Moldovans and Russians.

More than half (51 per cent) of prisoners in Hesse, are not German citizens. The most common countries of origin are Algeria (196), Morocco (196), Turkey (185), Romania (163), Afghanistan (116), Poland (97), Bulgaria (89) and Syria (83). In total, foreign prisoners in this German state reach 2,245.

Germany in Need of Foreign Labour Force

This Schengen state is dealing with a labour shortage across many sectors. This has pushed for the authorities to seek a workforce elsewhere and introduce measures that facilitate their process of coming to Germany for employment purposes.

Previously, the Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock revealed that the country was working to accelerate visa procedures for non-EU skilled workers, as one of the measures to facilitate the process for these workers.

In addition, the digitalisation of the visa application process is under work, meaning that foreigners who want to relocate to Germany for employment will have an easier time rounding up their application process.

We aim to further simplify the barriers and access to the German labour market. 

Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock

Germany needs up to 400,000 foreign workers in order to maintain their employment levels. Other measures that the country has already taken to facilitate the migration of skilled workers include the Opportunity Card and the Western Balkan Regulation. The latter enables foreigners to double the number of visas obtained for employment purposes.

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