PARRHESIA at Women's prison Schwarzau
Project realisation women's prison Schwarzau
Justizanstalt Schwarzau, Wechselbundesstraße 23-25, 2625 Schwarzau, AT
General information - Women's Prison Schwarzau
The Prison Schwarzau is the only penal institution in Austria responsible for the execution of judicial custodial sentences on women. Its main task is the execution of custodial sentences with a term of imprisonment of more than 18 months, namely in all forms of execution provided for in the Prison Act.
The main task includes the execution of custodial sentences on female juveniles and adolescents whose term of sentence generally exceeds six months. The Prison Schwarzau thus fulfils the tasks of a special prison for female juveniles.
Furthermore, the Prison Schwarzau is also responsible for the accommodation of female lawbreakers in need of weaning according to section 22 of the Penal Code and for weaning treatments for female prisoners according to section 68a of the Penal Code Act.
In addition, Schwarzau Prison is also responsible for the execution of administrative and financial substitute custodial sentences following the execution of judicial custodial sentences, but only to the extent that the facility's capacity is sufficient.
History of the building
Prison Schwarzau am Steinfeld is housed in a castle.
According to its origins, Schwarzau Castle was an imperial hunting lodge, which was donated to the noble family of the Counts of Wurmbrand at an unknown time between the 13th and 16th centuries. Wilhelm, Count of Wurmbrand and Stuppach, had the basic form of today's castle built in 1567. In 1697, the baroque building that still exists today was erected. After several other owners, it became the property of Duke Robert of Bourbon-Parma by purchase on 27 August 1889. Under this owner, the castle underwent considerable additions and interior alterations.
On 21 October 1911, the wedding of the last Habsburg imperial couple, Archduke Karl Franz Josef and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, took place in the castle chapel.
Soon after the beginning of the First World War (1914), the Bourbon-Parma family made an entire wing of the castle available as a convalescent home and hospital. The Bourbon-Parma family continued to own the castle after the First World War, although it was temporarily used as a guesthouse and occupied by the Russian occupying forces after the Second World War. It was not until 24 November 1951 that the sole owner, Duke Elias, sold the castle to the Republic of Austria for economic reasons.
After years of construction work and at a cost of about 10 million shillings (approx. 0.73 million euros), the castle was put into use as the "Schwarzau Women's Penitentiary" in December 1957. A general renovation carried out between 1993 and 1999 with the assistance of the Federal Office for the Protection of Monuments and at a cost of 135 million shillings (approx. 9.8 million euros) made it possible to transform a valuable listed building in need of renovation and expansion into a prison that met the legal requirements for the execution of sentences and measures for women and was given the appropriate cultural recognition by being placed under the protection of monuments.