Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
ROME

Napolitano wants fast action on prison woes

English
© ANSA

(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, June 7 - Italy's jam-packed jails are in such
a bad state that the government must do something fast,
President Giorgio Napolitano said Friday.
Deficiencies in the Italian prison system have reached
"critical thresholds" that must not be breached, he said.
He called for quick decisions by government to deal with
overcrowding and the degrading treatment of prisoners in a
message directed at Giovanni Tamburino, the national head of
administration of the penitentiary system.
Napolitano has consistently called for better treatment of
prisoners and, by extension, workers in that system who he said
also suffer from the poor conditions in Italian penitentiaries.
The situation has also been condemned by European Union
watchdogs.
Last month, the European Court of Human Rights rejected
Italy's appeal against a sentence condemning Rome for the state
of Italian jails.
Italy had formally challenged the Strasbourg-based court
when it ordered Rome to correct the "degrading and inhumane
conditions" in its prisons and to pay 100,000 euros in damages
to seven inmates.
Napolitano also used his message, sent on the 196th
anniversary of the founding of the penitentiary police system,
to express to the prison workers the country's "deep
appreciation for the generous commitment and the increasing
professionalism," in their work.
The country's prison conditions have long been the source
of criticism from human rights groups.
In December, the Permanent Observatory on Prison Deaths
reported that inmate suicides in Italy are 20 times that of the
general population, caused mostly by "environmental factors" and
"illegal" detention conditions.
The Council of Europe (COE) reported earlier this month
that Italy's jails are the third most overcrowded in Europe
behind Serbia and Greece.
There are 147 inmates for every 100 beds in Italy, the
47-nation human rights organisation said, compared with a
European average of 105.
Italy is also third for the number of inmates awaiting
trial, after Ukraine and Turkey.
Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri said Friday Italy
would keep its promise to send the COE the latest figures on
inmate numbers "as soon as possible"
She said they were "ready and just need collating".

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