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An open prison (open jail) is any jail in which the prisoners are trusted to serve their sentences with minimal supervision and perimeter security and are often not locked up in their prison cells. Prisoners may be permitted to take up employment while serving their sentence.
In the UK, open prisons are often part of a rehabilitation plan for prisoners moved from closed prisons. They may be designated "training prisons" and are only for prisoners considered a low risk to the public.
The idea of an open prison is often criticised by members of the public and politicians. Prisoners in open jails do not have complete freedom and are only allowed to leave the premises for specific purposes, such as going to an outside job. In Ireland, there has been controversy about the level of escape from open prisons, attributed to the use of the prison by the Irish Prison Service to transfer prisoners unsuitable for open conditions but to reduce overcrowding in the closed prisons. The idea of open prisons is to rehabilitate prisoners rather than to punish them.
Notable open prisons
- United Kingdom
- HM Prison Prescoed, Monmouthshire, South Wales
- HM Prison Ford, Ford, West Sussex, England
- HM Prison Blantyre House, Goudhurst, Kent, England
- HM Prison Askham Grange, York, England
- HM Prison Leyhill, South Gloucestershire, England
- HM Prison Castle Huntly, Longforgan, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
- Loughan House, Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland
- Shelton Abbey Prison, Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland
Offener Vollzug in Germany
In Germany the "Offener Vollzug" is part of the rehabilitation process for about 16% of prisoners.
- UK Government: Types of prison and security categories
- Philip Davies, "It is completely ludicrous that a serving life-sentence prisoner is even in an open prison", BBC, 05 May 2014
- Erwin James, "Why life in an open prison is no holiday camp", The Guardian, 13 January 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012
- Reilly, Michael (6 May 2009). "Annual Report 2008". Office of the Inspector of Prisons (PDF).
- Justizvollzug: Strafgefangene nach Geschlecht, Alter und Art des Vollzugs, voraussichtliche Vollzugsdauer Archived 2014-03-14 at the Wayback Machine from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany