10/12/2012 04:42 pm ET Updated Oct 12, 2012

169 Guards Watch One Prisoner In Grünau Detention Center In Berlin

You would think the prisoner was Hannibal Lecter on steroids. A staggering 169 officers are being paid to guard one inmate at the Grünau detention center in Berlin, Berliner Zeitung reported.

The center, a waystation jail for immigrants before they are deported, has long been operating under capacity, The Local wrote in an English translation.

Anti-deportation activists said the lone prisoner is being kept in "solitary confinement-like conditions," which would make it even harder to justify the $1.3 million paid monthly to the security officers at a complex that can house 214. How many does it take to watch one guy in a tiny space? But there is payroll to be met.

Police wouldn't comment to Berliner Zeitung on the facility, which once served as an East German women's prison.

The Berlin Refugee Council and other reform backers are calling for the detention center to be closed, according to a blog covering the deportation issue. But for now the law mandates that it be open, Berlin Interior Minister Frank Henkel told the Berliner Zeitung.

Meanwhile, in the United States, business is booming in the jailing of immigrant detainees. Their ranks are growing by 400,000 a year, according to a Huffington Post report, and nearly half are housed in private prisons.

It is unlikely that any of those inmates are getting the same attention.



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