Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Justice minister says inmate suicide must be addressed

English
© ANSA

Rome, May 12 - Newly appointed Italian Justice
Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri, who is part of the new cabinet
headed by Premier Enrico Letta sworn in last Sunday, said on
Thursday she will examine and address local prison suicides
during her term in office.
"It's a serious issue that we want to address with
determination, but first of all we need to understand it
thoroughly," Cancellieri said during a visit to Rome's Regina
Coeli prison.
"It's a way of addressing a problem that I consider to be
very delicate and very important, and I want to start from
here".
Roughly 60 prisoners in Italy commit suicide each year, or
roughly 20 times the average for the general population,
according to a December 2012 Permanent Observatory on Prison
Deaths report.
The country's prison conditions have long been the source
of criticism from human rights groups.
In January the European Court of Human Rights harshly
criticized authorities for holding prisoners in crammed cells,
specifically seven men who were held at prisons in Busto Arsizio
and Piacenza, both located in northern Italy.
In April Italy challenged the ruling that orders it to
correct the "degrading and inhumane conditions" in its prisons
and to pay 100,000 euros in damages to seven inmates.
The inmates had fewer than three square meters of space
each.
That same month a psychiatrists' group said one third of
prison inmates are at high risk of developing a mental illness,
with about 20,000 of the 70,000 inmates in Italian prisons
having developed diseases such as psychosis, depression, severe
anxiety and bipolar disorder.

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