Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 29 n° 299

With EU prisons overcrowded, Member States should favour alternatives if possible, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 giugno 2017

carcereAccording to the Council of Europe, the number of detainees exceeds the number of available places in a third of European penitentiary institutions. Civil Liberties MEPs warn that prison overcrowding impacts the safety of inmates and staff, has adverse effects on health conditions, obstacles rehabilitation and may contribute to radicalization.
They insist that imprisonment, including pre-trial detention, should only be used in legally justified cases, and alternatives, such as home detention or non-custodial punitive measures (e.g., community service work, electronic bracelets), should be prioritized in the case of persons who do not present a serious danger to society.In the case of juvenile offenders, they should always be entitled to access alternative measures to detention regardless of the offence they have committed, according to MEPs. In case of detention, they should be kept separately from adults. The Civil Liberties Committee backed on Wednesday, with 44 votes in favour, four against and three abstentions, an own-initiative report prepared by Joelle Bergeron (EFDD, FR) on prisons’ systems and conditions. The text will be put to a vote in plenary in a future session.Among other ideas, MEPs demand special attention to vulnerable detainees, such as elderly and disabled people. They also point to the specific needs of women, particularly during pregnancy and after they have given birth. They also condemn the prison dispersal policy applied by a number of states, which they see as an added punishment for prisoners’ families.They show concern about the increase of prisons systems’ privatization and underline that staff serving in prisons should have adequate remuneration, proper working conditions and systematic training. In 2014, prisons across the EU were holding over half a million inmates, including both convicted persons, serving their final sentence, and persons accused of a crime who were on remand.

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