Consultative Council of European Prosecutors
Relationship between prosecutors and prison administration
Austrian reply to the questionnaire
by Ernst Eugen FABRIZY
Since the Austrian prosecution service has no powers in matters of prison administration, I can give answers only to few questions.
If the public prosecutor is informed of the suspicion of misuse of authority (not only negligence) of prison staff, he is obliged to investigate the case and to inform the disciplinary body.
The public prosecutor is obliged to carry out an investigation because of the crime of misuse of authority of a member of the prison staff by himself or by the police, but nor by the prison administration.
A criminal investigation in case of sudden death, accident or criminal offence comitted against a prisoner or a crime committed by a prisoner is conducted by the public prosecutor or by the police under supervision of the public prosecutor.
The public prosecutor is heard in proceedings on pardon or release on probation. Amnesty is only possible by law.
Criminal records are in charge of the police (Bundespolizeidirektion Wien); the public prosecutor has no power to supervise them.
Some important decisions concerning the enforcement of judgements are under the jurisdicion of the Criminal Court („Strafvollzugsgericht“), like the decision on release on probation. In these proceedings the public prosecutor has the right to file an application; at any rate he has the right to be heard and to appeal against the court decision.