Information in English
The history of Remand Prison Praha - Pankrác goes back to the nineties of the 19th century. In 1852, an imperial patent on Crimes, Misdemeanours and Offences was issued which was applied in our territory as Criminal Law for almost 100 years. At that time, the prison in the St. Wenceslas Chapel became inadequate, mainly for hygienic reasons, and therefore the construction of a new prison commenced at the eastern outskirts of the town between Pankrác and Nusle in July 1885. The construction was finished in August 1889 and the first risoners were placed thereto in September of the same year. The punishments of penal servitude, servitude, and imprisonment were enforced therein. The prison was a modern structure. It had hot air central heating, solitary confi nement cells had hot water heating. The prison had gas lighting and its own gasworks.
The prison disposed of bathrooms, classrooms (prisoners were obliged to attend various types of education), a lecture hall, gymnasium, 22 workshop rooms, 6 exercise yards, a Roman-Catholic church, an Evangelic chapel, and a house of prayer for believers of Israeli confession. The bedroom section of the prison hospital had 22 rooms for patients from among the prisoners. Since the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, the object was used as a prison of the Regional Criminal Court in Prague, and housed over 800 prisoners. At that time, it was the largest of 37 Regional Court prisons for detainees and prisoners serving up to 1-year imprisonment terms. A signifi cant milestone in the history of the Pankrác Prison was the period of the occupation of the Czechoslovak Republic by Hitlerian Germany during the Second World War. The German occupation administration established therein an investigation unit of the German Criminal Police – GESTAPO. On 15 April 1943, the Reichsminister of Justice had an execution chamber – „axe-cell“ - and a device for guillotine executions established in the premises of Pankrác Prison. Since the above date until 26 April 1945, 1 075 persons were executed therein. The executioner was headsman Weiss. In the fi fties, political prisoners, such as JUDr. Milada Horáková, and other members of the III. Resistance were placed into and executed at Pankrác Prison. The executions were carried out behind the Hospital building, where a Memorial commemorating the victims has been erected recently.
At present, Remand Prison Praha - Pankrác effectuates remand of male detainees and imprisonment of males sentenced to a prison with supervision, control, and guarding. The total regular accommodation capacity is 1 202 places. At present, 198 foreigners from 25 countries of the whole world are placed on remand at Praha-Pankrác Prison. The detainees all are accommodated in two-bed cells. Further, the detainees are divided into juveniles, detainees at the unit with moderated regimen (semi-free remand), and others. Enhanced attention is given to juveniles and young detainees as well as to the unit with moderated regimen; in treating these detainees, emphasis is being put on social, educational, learning, cultural, and sporting activities. The juveniles all also take part in group therapies. The detainees from all the remand units are involved in free-time activities, for that purpose, available are 5 rooms (3 social rooms, pottery shop, and kitchenette) and a multi-purpose hall for sporting activities.
During the week, 40 - 50 activities purposefully helping the reduction of tensions and uncertainties accumulated due to detention take place. Working opportunities are only available to a small part of detainees. The convicts work in the framework of internal workplaces, e.g., such as KOVO, Printing office, Laundry, Maintenance, Automobile repair shops. The total of 25 workplaces have been established for the convicts in the prison where working activities take place. Also, some convicts work at workplaces out of the prison. In the remand prison, 9 educational, 22 special-interest (club-or hobby-oriented), and 14 special formative activities are organised. Based on the result of diagnostic examination, a treatment programme is designed for each convict. The goal of such programme is the development of personality, enhancement of creativeness in purposeful uses of free time, and improvement in the involvement in civilian life of the convicts. Sporting activities are also available to the convicts during outings or in the form of exercises and games in the prison’s gymnasium.
Remand Prison Praha – Pankrác has been included in the grant of the European Social Fund. The name of the project is „New Chance“ and the purpose thereof is to create conditions for a smooth passing on by the convicts to civilian life, and to provide to them necessary assistance so that they could be better prepared for an independent and socially desirable way of life. The employees can even use the own recreation facility at Bernartice. The Prison Service members improve their physical condition in a gymnasium with fi tness centre situated in the prison’s area. Since 1999, some P.S. members have been training sport shooting in the Shooting Sport Club (the prison disposes of its own tunnel shooting-range). Also, service cynology has earned relatively good reputation within the Prison Service of the Czech Republic.