According to a report in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper, which has seen a copy of the proposal, day release prisoners would be able to leave their cells in the morning to go and work in various police institutions, where they might be employed as a janitor or as part of a cleaning team, and would return to prison once they had completed their work.
It is still unclear what kind of prisoners would be eligible to take part in what is being billed as a rehabilitation program, and when it might start. But the Kronen Zeitung reports that police officers are not happy about the plan – especially after hearing a rumour that felons might be given master keys to their offices.
An insider told the newspaper that officers have no problem with the slow reintegration of prisoners into society, but are afraid that "there might be prisoners who we only locked up a few months ago". "Is it wise that they should now be cleaning our offices or changing the lightbulbs – I doubt it. That is why many of my colleagues have a funny feeling about this," he added.
The interior and justice ministries are still discussing the details of the proposal and are yet to make an official statement.