Under normal circumstances, the Meilen Secure Unit (Abteilung Meilen) is used for the execution of alternative custodial sentences of under 30 days and for the detainment of persons who are not suited for open custody in the Bachtel Correctional Facility. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Meilen Secure Unit has been operated as a quarantine station for detainees at the beginning of their prison term since May 11, 2020.
This is why the duration of the detained persons’ stay is generally limited to 10 days. The unit’s quarantine function entails a regime with relatively drastic restrictions. There are no private visits allowed in the Meilen Secure Unit and gifts or parcels for the inmates are rejected. Inmates can use the telephone to stay in touch with the outside world during their 10-day stay. They can not do any work due to quarantine. The committed persons spend most of their time in single cells, but they are allowed to spend at least one hour a day outside. Whenever operationally possible, the time spent outdoors is prolonged.
If a committed person’s stay exceeds 10 days, they will be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus before the 10 days are over. If the results are negative, the person is transferred to a regular prison. If the results are positive, the person is moved to the isolation station at Horgen Prison.