Zurich West Prison
The Zurich West Prison is a part of the Police and Justice Centre. Its inmates are under provisional arrest.
Table of contents
The Zurich West Prison (Gefängnis Zürich West, GZW) is part of the Police and Justice Centre (Polizei- und Justizzentrum, PJZ) which started operating gradually since April 2022 on the grounds of Zurich’s former freight terminal.
The Zurich West Prison houses persons under provisional arrest (124 places) and will house 117 places in pre-trial detention in the future.
During provisional arrest (also known as police detention), the prosecution authorities have a maximum of 48 hours to make the necessary assessments in order to either confirm or rebut the suspicions and other reasons for incarceration. If there are no reasons for incarceration (or not anymore), the person under provisional arrest is released. Otherwise, a request for a pre-trial detention order is submitted to the coercive measures court (in German) which then has 48 hours to adjudicate on the matter.
If the coercive measures court approves the request for pre-trial detention, the incarcerated person is moved to one of the pre-trial prisons of the Zurich Pre-Trial Prisons (Untersuchungsgefängnisse Zürich, UGZ). In the course of 2023, the pre-trial detention department will be implemented at Zurich West Prison.
- Capacity: 241 places (124 for men, women and adolescents under provisional arrest and 117 for people in pre-trial detention)
- Planned jobs: 136,0 positions
Monday to Friday (including public holidays):
8.15 am to 12 pm
1 pm to 5 pm
Payments for alternative custodial sentences will be accepted from 5 pm to 8 pm in addition to the above visiting hours.
Visitation permit and registration
- Before visiting, you have to apply for a permit with the prosecution offices.
- In order to visit an inmate, advance notification by phone is mandatory: +41 43 257 31 11
Money transfer to inmates
For the settlement of alternative custodial sentences the prison accepts the original receipt of the payment via post office counter. Payment forms must be collected in advance from the loge (main entrance) at Zurich West Prison. Please note our visiting hours.
For all other payments to an incarcerated person, money can be wired. Here you can find the bank details:
|Name des Finanzinstituts||PostFinance, 3030 Bern|
|Einzahlung für||Polizei- und Justizzentrum, Gefängnis Zürich West, Güterstrasse 33, Postfach, 8010 Zürich|
|IBAN||CH46 0900 0000 1586 2826 8|
Other payment methods are not possible.
Supervision and treatment
An interdisciplinary team guarantees the success of the challenging supervision in provisional arrest. A number of departments are in direct contact with the arrested persons, such as:
- The team of supervision and treatment
- The health service
- Counseling (external partner)
Several partners support these departments.
For more in-depth information on supervision and treatment, please check the house regulations (in German):
In contrast to pre-trial detention, working is not possible for persons in provisional arrest. If a person in pre-trial or in preventive detention has committed to working on a voluntary basis, he is obliged to carry out the tasks assigned to him.
Inmates carry out the following tasks:
- Packing and repacking
- Compiling and assorting
- Packing and dispatching mailings
- Cardboard packaging
- Creative work
People under provisional arrest have access to books and an international TV-program. Furthermore, they can use the exercise yard to stroll around and pass time.
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