Regulations Pertaining to Prisoner's Funds

As you surely know, money makes the world go around – as Liza Minelli once sung. Does this also apply to persons imprisoned? Continue reading and explore the options.


How much money may I have in prison?

Prisoners in pre-trail detention have only Eigengeld. Prisoners in penal detention have various accounts.

  1. Taschengeld (Personal Pocket Money),
  2. Hausgeld (Earned Money),
  3. Überbrückungsgeld,
  4. Eigengeld (private funds).
What is Taschengeld (Personal Allowance) for and how do I get it?

Pocket money is taken from public funds and can be compared to welfare for inmates. Therefore, you might get some when you have no private resources and are physically unable to work or cannot be assigned work for reasons beyond your control. N.B. you must apply to be granted pocket money!

What is “Hausgeld” for and how do I get it?

Hausgeld is money derived from work performed while in detention and with which you can pay for you shopping. A prisoner in investigative detention is not obligated to work, but may do so voluntarily. A prisoner in penal detention must work if he can be assigned a job which he is physically and mentally capable of performing. Hausgeld earned in penal detention is deposited to the Hausgeld account on a two-thirds proportional basis. One third of the earnings are deposited with the Überbrückungsgeld account until the required Überbrückungsgeld amount has been reached. Neither the Hausgeld account nor the Überbrückungsgeld account can be confiscated to defray debts.

What is “Überbrückungsgeld” for and how do I get it?

Überbrückungsgeld is money held for your release. Every prisoner must accumulate these funds while serving a sentence. It is intended to better enable you to resettle in society. German law sets the amount. You must also set aside an additional amount for each of your dependents. By law, this money cannot be confiscated for any reason. Überbrückungsgeld is released to the prisoner on the day he leaves the prison.

 What is “Eigengeld” for and how do I get it?

Eigengeld consists of private funds which the prisoner had at the time of his arrest or additional funds deposited for him by an outside source. Hausgeld not used for purchases or any excess of Hausgeld may also be transferred to the Eigengeld account, providing that the Überbrückungsgeld has been fully accumulated. These private funds (Eigengeld) are subject to confiscation. Money deposited in a prisoner's account by an outside party such as family or friends should state clearly on the money order the purpose for which the funds are intended (zweckgebunden), for example, for stamps only. As an alternative, money can be sent directly to your lawyer, who may deposit it in your account as necessary.

Additional information