Criminal Law & Enforcement

Prosecution as a public service

Criminal law represents the biggest share within the Department of Justice and Home Affairs. It includes the prosecution of criminal offences committed by minors or adult perpetrators. It also deals with the enforcement of sentences, i.e. prisons, the high-security Penal Institution of Pöschwies and the Massnahmenzentrum Uitikon, a facility where young adults can learn a trade in a secure or day-release environment.

The public prosecutors deal with the prosecution of adults. They carry out the prosecution, prosecute the alleged perpetrator and represent the state in procedures before the court. The prosecution differentiates between regional and specific Offices of the Public Prosecutor. While the regional Office deals with a multitude of offences throughout the Canton, the specific Office of the Public Prosecutor has a specialisation, e.g. in violent crimes, white-collar offences or drug offences, under the supervision of the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor.

The regional District Attorneys for Minors are responsible for young offenders. They also carry on a prosecution, but only against accused persons who had been minors at the moment the crime was committed. The District Attorneys for Minors are under the supervision of the Chief Public Prosecutor for Minors.

Different facets of Law Enforcement

The Office for the Execution of Penal Sentences and Justice (OEPSJ) is responsible for the execution of sentences and for the remand in custody pending trial, preventive detention and detention pending deportation as well as for measures. It is also in charge of the corresponding facilities, like prisons and the Penal Institution. The Psychiatric-Psychological Service also falls within the scope of the OEPSJ and deals with the detainees on the one hand and with therapies for perpetrators on the other hand and also offers research activities in the area of forensic psychiatry. In addition, different experts deal with the task of helping the perpetrator to reintegrate into society.