Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Government considers reopening island prison of Pianosa

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 10 - One of Italy's most notorious
former prison islands, best known as the site of the country's
toughest maximum security prison, will likely once again play
host to inmates, a government official said Monday.
A plan to re-open the prison on the tiny remote island of
Pianosa, off the coast of Tuscany, has been approved by
administrators and will be discussed further at high level
meetings on June 19, the official said.
Prison overcrowding has been an enormous social and
political problem for the government.
Just over a year ago, then-Justice Minister Paola Severino
said that two of Italy's former prison islands, Asinara off
Sardinia as well as Pianosa, could once again be home to
maximum-security regimes for mafiosi.
Severino, justice minister in the former government of
Mario Monti, said at the time that the costs might be "high" but
"if we were able to meet those costs, we might think of
reopening them".
Some politicians welcomed Severino's idea at the time, but
local officials, especially in Sardinia, were critical.
It's likely that local residents, who had hoped to develop
their island's tourist industry, also won't be enthusiastic.
Pianosa, perched in the Tyrrhennian Sea halfway between
Elba and Corsica, was preparing to develop a tourist industry
after the penal facility was closed.
Local officials had hoped to capitalize on the fact that
paradoxically, Pianosa's top security facilities actually helped
to saved its natural environment from developers.
Like Elba, which has built up a local lore based on
Napoleon's famous exile, Pianosa had considered the
possibilities of capitalizing on its past as a penal colony.
Pianosa is part of an archipelago made up of Elba - the
largest of the islands - Capraia, Giglio, Gorgona, Giannutri and
Montecristo, setting of Alexandre Dumas's novel The Count of
Monte Cristo.

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