Prison, the guarantor’s report: “54 thousand prisoners in overcrowded and inadequate structures”

The report to Parliament by Mauro Palma. Among the issues addressed are suicides and acts of self-harm, the incompleteness of the regulatory path established by the Rems. On the issue of migrants: “Attendance at the Lampedusa hotspot is four times higher than in 2017”

ROME – “In 2021 we had expected a return to normalcy and a resumption of the connection with the outside world. In fact, this connection has not been recovered. While the will to reopen prevailed outside, the reductive idea of ​​the relationship with the outside world prevailed and still prevails ”. This was stated by the Guarantor of people deprived of their liberty, Mauro Palma, in the course of his report today in the Italian Parliament.

Analyzing the situation of the execution of the penal measures and the problematic within the structures, the Guarantor has begun speaking of the minors and of “the investment in his future that has to do a juridical ordering regarding the reconstruction of that social bond that with the commission of a crime “. , particularly for a young person, is determined ”.

“On several occasions, already in previous years, I have had the opportunity to emphasize how the juvenile penal system of our country is able to make concrete the principle that the measure of deprivation of liberty is an extreme measure and trusts other forms of positive . “Recover the possibility of not reaching criminal sanctions as well as forms of control and support for the execution of measures of this nature when these have become necessary,” said Palma. According to figures, 358 are in juvenile prisons (of which only 163 are under the age of eighteen), 3,001 are on probation and 784 are employed in various alternative ways. “Recently, there have been some unsettling indications that the trend is worrying, especially in some areas – often in the North – of the growing number of children who have committed crimes collectively and whose relevance requires restrictive measures. – says the Guarantor–.. An increase that, given the capacity of the available places, runs the risk of provoking displacements to institutions geographically distant, to the detriment of the familiar and affective relations and of the functional territorial connection to the return ”.

Suicides and self-harm

The Guarantor then addressed the scarcity very much present in the adult detention system: gestures of self-harm and especially suicide: 29 to date plus 17 deaths from causes to be determined. “The perpetrators of these final gestures are a warning,” says Palma. . . How to read the intrinsic fragility they communicate to us ”.

The National Guarantor then spoke of “the overcrowding of structures, the unacceptability of many of them for both those who are restricted and those who work there every day, and their inadequacy in terms of space for to a constitutionally oriented criminal execution “. . There are 54,786 people registered (corresponding to 53,793 people actually present) and 38,897 who are subject to the application of criminal law. “Up to 1319 they are in prison for the execution of a sentence of less than one year and another 2473 for a sentence of one to two years,” explains the Guarantor. It is superfluous to ask what may have been committed by the crime which the judge has considered worthy of a sentence of imprisonment of such limited duration; It is quite important to note that his execution in prison, even in a legal system like ours that provides for alternative forms for short and medium sentences, is a symptom of a social minority that is also reflected in the absence of tools for understanding them. possibilities, of effective legal support, of a support network. This presence speaks of poverty in a broad sense and other absences and ends up making the constitutional purpose of the sentences expressed in that tendency to social reintegration merely enunciative: because the complex ‘machine’ of detention requires time to know the person. , to understand their needs and develop a re-education program. Beyond the will of the Constituent Assembly and the indications of the penitentiary system, these arrests take place only in a life time left to normal – interruptions of life probably destined to be repeated in an unacceptable sequence “.

The situation of the oars

During the report, Palma said that he was “aware of the incompleteness of the regulation and implementation process initiated with the law” that he foresaw. Psychiatric residences for security measures, “sto whom the attention of the information is often concentrated, because this would determine the risk of territorial structures that would have asylum character as containers of totally different subjective situations from the legal and medical point of view. A path marked in the first place by the conceptual error of those who configure them as mere replacement structures for disused judicial psychiatrists and not as an extreme measure within a global project of taking charge of the person who has committed a crime and is declared non-criminal. responsible. The recent sentence that provided for internment in Rems for thirty years for a perpetrator of a double murder finds no justification from a health point of view because in these terms no treatment and recovery intervention can be implemented and seems to remember only the logic social danger forecast “.

According to Palma, it is necessary to redefine its presence in the territory, which is insufficient in some specific areas, and to assess the excess recourse to this measure, even if it is provisional and for minor offenses. “I focused on the aspect of mental distress because it is a very sensitive issue for those who work every day in prison and because it directly harms the health of the people involved, whether adults or minors. For the latter, too often, the search for a community where this discomfort can be dealt with clashes with the tendency of the communities themselves to select the cases that do not constitute a problem. Therefore, the National Guarantor requests that in the phase of defining the agreement with the structures concerned, the commitment to accept and within a reasonable time the cases that require a different attention to the one that the prison can offer be underlined. The reasonableness of time, of expectations returns us to the interpretation of this Report: prison is often presented as a place of expectations: reducing them is an important bet. ”

Hotspots and Cpr

Palma then spoke of the deprivation of liberty of migrants irregularly present in Italian territory and of repatriation flights. “The analysis of the last year does not differ from that of previous years in terms of relative figures. In the sense that, despite the 44292 people registered in the hotspots during 2021 (and among them 8934 minors), 3420 people were repatriated, also due to the lower possibility last year of organizing repatriation flights. Another 6,153 people were rejected at the border. Thus, the data of hotspot records were again similar to those of 2017, but with a prevalence of attendance in Lampedusa equal to four times that achieved in that year. The composition was also similar to that of the past: the prevalence is of Tunisians – about a third of the total – followed by Egyptians “, explains the Guarantor, also recalling the recent novelty of the ‘quarantine ships’ that until May 31 hosted 35,304 people for an average of eleven days The National Guarantor, after also a visit to one of the used boats and the control of the established procedures, acknowledged that the logistical conditions prepared were, without a doubt, better than those that could He also made it clear from the outset that the people on board received the necessary care and were undergoing an infection protection procedure, but did not receive it. comprehensive information on their rights, nor could this function be entrusted to Red Cross personnel who were on board only personnel on board other than the ship’s management authorities. repatriation rate has not changed in relation to the stay in the ‘Repatriation Centers’ (Cpr).

Currently in the 10 Centers, with a total capacity of 711 places, there are about 49 percent of the people who have been locked up, on average for thirty-six days. And it raises the question of the legitimacy of this detention when it is already clear a priori that repatriation to that particular country will not be possible.

“The so-called ‘appropriate structures’ have recently been incorporated into the Centers where people can be retained for repatriation in the absence of easy availability of the Centers: they finally have a map, the essential characteristics, the evolution of those under construction. The National Guarantor has recently begun visiting these premises, made available by the Police Headquarters, and will present a specific Report at the end of its term.

According to Palma, the issue of migration “continues to be addressed, in its persistent improvements and problems, in terms of emergencies and non-structural: as if it were still a new problem, with respect to which a solid policy must be made and developed in Italy and Europe, the current modality, consisting of hotspots, Cpr, repatriation attempts, asymmetric numbers between arrivals, repatriations and positive insertions in the community, made mainly by a lot of useless suffering and high media spending, people and money, does not have the characteristics of an effective “policy” adopted in the face of a theme that will not diminish in the coming years and that, on the contrary, as many parties have already predicted, will increase in size also taking into account the many armed conflicts, in several regions of the world, and in particular in the last one even closer to us, the National Guarantor hopes that a new phase of reflection will begin migrations, look for those system solutions that contemplate the possibility of regular access to our country, forms of reception aimed at facilitating a gradual, widespread and secure integration. in different territories, towards which to direct investments in the sector “.

For the Guarantor, the reception cannot be limited to an emergency phase, but must have a line of planning of insertion routes and recognition of its fulfillment. For this reason, the National Guarantor hopes that full citizenship will be recognized as soon as possible.

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