Escaped Inmate Turns Himself in After Berlin Prison Break

Berlin prison

BERLIN (AP) – One of four inmates who broke out of a prison in Berlin last week turned himself in Tuesday, a city official said, promising a review of security precautions at the facility after an embarrassing series of lapses.

On Thursday, four men used a hammer to break down part of a concrete wall at the Ploetzensee prison before climbing over a barbed-wire fence. City justice minister Dirk Behrendt said one of them has now turned himself in and will be sent to a higher-security facility.

Behrendt said five other prisoners who work outside the prison during the day but are supposed to return there overnight went missing between Thursday and Monday – one of whom has since been caught by police.

Opponents of Berlin’s center-left city government are calling for Behrendt’s resignation over the escapes. The minister said in a statement that “annoyance” over the lapses was “understandable” and all security precautions at Ploetzensee will be reviewed.

Staff at the prison will be strengthened and a panel of internal and external security experts will analyze and tackle any weaknesses, he added.

It’s common in Germany for people who are serving sentences for lesser offenses or are in prison because they failed to pay fines to be granted the chance of leaving the facility during the day after a while.

Such facilities are less heavily secured than other prisons.