Frambois was inaugurated in June 2004 on the outskirts of Geneva. State councilor Micheline Spoerri makes no secret of how challenging the design of Frambois was, saying, “Its objective is to respond intelligently and humanely to a law that has the unique feature of detaining persons who have committed neither crime nor offense, in order to ensure the successful implementation of deportation. As its operation has not yet been defined in federal law, a special system of administrative detention had to be invented. The challenge was daunting.”
Inside the prison there are 22 individual cells equipped with refrigerators and TVs, and inmates are free to leave their cells between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The common room on the ground floor is the core of Frambois. It is equipped with tables, chairs and table tennis facilities. Inmates spend most of their days there, participating in discussions, games, meals and even visits by chaplains.
The so-called “Frambois concept” has a price: Construction of Frambois cost 4 million Swiss francs ($4.1 million), 90 percent of it supplied by the government. Frambois costs 280 Swiss francs ($288) per day per inmate and nearly 100,000 Swiss francs ($103,100) per year per inmate. With a capacity of 25 inmates, Frambois accommodated 272 people at various times in 2009.
Frambois is staffed by a team of 13 people who meet every morning for discussions. Management communicates the dates of deportation or arrival; officers describe what happened during the night.
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