Hundreds of Zurichers volunteer to… sleep in prison

In Switzerland, a new form of unusual tourism seems to be developing. According to Le Figaro, the prison administration of the canton of Zurich has just closed the registration of volunteers wishing to spend… four days in prison. Objective of this strange approach: to test a brand new prison, intended to accommodate defendants in police custody or in pre-trial detention. The new detention centre, which should open its doors next April, should therefore accommodate more than a hundred volunteers. The 150 prison employees, as well as the Zurich prison administration, hope to gather valuable information on the quality of treatment of future prisoners and the reliability of security. Against all odds, the local authorities had no difficulty in finding willing volunteers to spend four days in prison. More than 700 Zurich residents, all adults, volunteered for this strange experience, for which registrations closed on the evening of Sunday February 13. One hundred and fifty of them will be selected to inaugurate the new cells. It should be specified that the conditions of this voluntary detention will be clearly relaxed, in comparison with the ordinary of the prisoners. Certainly, no electronic device will be authorized – prohibiting any communication with the outside or teleworking. However, volunteers will have the option of refusing the strip search. In addition, they can end the stay at any time or go home to sleep at night. Smoking cells and menus tailored to individual preferences will also be available. What make this strange passage in the shade much more bearable.