Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

Napolitano renews call to relieve prison overcrowding


Rome, November 22 - President of the Republic
Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday reiterated calls for action to
improve conditions for detainees in the country's overcrowded
"The continuous increase in the prison population and the
significant presence of foreign prisoners makes pursuing the
rehabilitative aim of punishment extremely complex and often in
vain," said Napolitano in a message to the head of the Italian
prison administration department to coincide with the 17th
Council of Europe Conference of Directors of Prison
Administration underway in Rome.
"In this alarming context it is indispensable to tackle
situations of unease, suffering and major risk that such a
reality implies".
The head of state went on to urge the pursuit of
"differentiated and flexible" legislative and organisational
solutions to prevent punishment "from going beyond the point
where its infliction is in contrast with a sense of humanity and
its function of reintegrating detainees into society".
On Monday the Italian prisoners' rights organization
Antigone published a report showing that Italy's prisons are
still far more crowded than the European average and that the
situation has actually worsened since a state of
emergency was declared over the issue nearly three years ago.
Italian prisons are currently filled to 142.5% capacity,
compared to a European average of 99.6%, with a population of
66,685 today compared to 64,791 at the end of 2009.
Overcrowding is particularly bad in the regions of Liguria,
Puglia and Veneto.
The so-called 'empty jails' decree aiming to
significantly relieve prisons over a 20-month period ending on
October 31 of this year led to the early release of just 8,267
detainees, compared to the regular release of 140,000 prisoners
over the same period.
Foreigners also outnumber Italians in most northern
Italian prisons, according to Antigone.
The percentage of foreign prisoners in Milan and Vicenza
jails, for example, is respectively 62% and 65% and it reaches
nearly 70% in the mountain territories of Trentino Alto Adige
and Valle d'Aosta.
In the southern regions of Basilicata, Campania and Molise,
foreigners make up just over 10% of the prison population.

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