Italy jail population down 12% in last yr – Antigone

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 11 – Italy’s jail population fell 12% over
the last year but it will still have to drop by 4-8,000 inmates
to be within official capacity limits, prisoners rights’ group
Antigone said in its latest report on endemic overcrowding on
Thursday.
    Overcrowding has changed from being “an objective condition of
degrading treatment” to one of a health emergency due to COVID,
the association said.
    Antigone, which has been monitoring prisoners’ conditions since
1998, said prison numbers had fallen from 61,230 at the end of
February last year to 53,697 at the end of the same month this
year.
    This drop of 7,533 units corresponded to 12.3%, it said.
    Prison numbers have now fallen close to those of 2015, when they
were cut to some 52,000 after several rulings against
overcrowding by European courts.
    Antigone added that Italy’s jails were short of 12.5% of warders
and 18% of educators.
    Also, it said 851 of the inmates were above the age of 70.
    The group called for talks with authorities on introducing new
alternatives to jail time and improving prison conditions while
cutting overcrowding. (ANSA).
   

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