Dream Job? Residents of Swiss City Invited to Become Inmates to Test New Prison

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According to local media, any individual who is willing to participate has to meet certain criteria: candidates must be at least 18 years old, agree to background checks to assess their suitability, and be content to have the police run security checks.
Residents of the Swiss city of Zurich have been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to become prison inmates for a short period, according to Le Temps newspaper. It may seem absurd but the city’s authorities actually have quite mundane motives in this case - they want to test a new penitentiary before it is put into use in April.

Prison director Marc Eierman said the project will ensure "the proper functioning of daily operations and allow wardens to familiarise themselves with the facility".
According to local media, volunteers - who will be chosen by prison authorities - will spend four days in the facility, from 24 to 27 March. During this time they will be subjected to a real prison regime although certain concessions to their comfort will be made: they will get a thorough body search on arrival, though volunteers have a choice to refuse it; they will be given three meals a day with different kinds of menu, including halal and vegetarian.

Also, any volunteer who regrets his or her choice is free to leave at any time during the project, prison officials said.

"There are only winners in this test operation. As a participant, you can experience in a safe environment what it might feel like for a real arrested person suddenly to be locked up. People will be able to compare what they see in various crime series on TV and reality in Switzerland," said prison officials.

According to Les Echos, around 700 people have volunteered to participate in the project, which is nearly three times more than the prison’s capacity (241 people).
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