Prisons, the National Guarantor illustrates the 2022 report
June 20, 2022
The sense of time and discomfort in prison were at the heart of the annual report that the Guarantor of the rights of persons deprived of their personal liberty, Mauro Palmapresented this morning in the Chapter House of the Senate, in the presence of the Head of State, Sergio Mattarellaof the Ministers of Justice Marta Cartabia and the Interior Luciana Lamorgeseand after the greeting of the President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati. Also in the room the Head of the Department of Penitentiary Administration, Carlo Renoldi.
He time, like a thread of Ariadne, stated the Guarantor, “which unfolds through the perceptual changes in the different phases that develop from an event to its consequences, to the subsequent new lived reality, to the difficult recovery of freedom ”. Waiting and suspension time, stressed Palma, who “has almost stopped in the last two years” and who “is hardly a time for recovery”. A difficult time to measure when you are in situations of deprivation of liberty, “with the risk of confusing its immeasurability with indefiniteness and indeterminacy.”
In his report, Palma also spoke of another concept, which he cited several times: the discomfort, which sometimes translates into suffering, both for those who are confined to the institutions and for the staff who work there every day. The analysis of the figures allowed the Guarantor to identify three “priority reflections”, which are so many indicators of this discomfort. “First of all, the accentuation of the presence of social minorities in prison”, evidenced by the fact that “1,319 are in prison for the execution of a sentence of less than one year and another 2,473 for a sentence of one in two years ”. This first indicator leads directly to the second, “because the complex ‘machine’ of detention requires time to get to know the person, understand their needs and develop a re-education program”, thus making “the constitutional purpose of the sentences”. merely enunciative. expressed in that tendency towards social reintegration ”. The third and final point refers to “the external responsibility of the territory”, which should have “intercepted before the intervention of criminal law” the unrest and “that social detention – the term is Alessandro Margara – that the prison cannot solve “.
These ideas are in addition to others that have long plagued the prison system: the “massification of structures, the unacceptability of many of them both for those who are restricted and for those who work there every day. , and its space. inadequacy for a constitutionally oriented criminal execution “.
In his report, Palma also highlighted the growing mental illness, a testament to the increase in the number of critical events and, among these, the number of suicides (29 since the beginning of the year) and deaths due to causes (so far 17), but also of the numerous suicide attempts and gestures of self-harm. An uneasiness that is explained by the “lack of psychological and psychiatric support in detention centers”, to which is added the “fragmentation of interventions almost always of pharmacological response to situations that have already evolved and are not very focused on prevention.” Deficiencies that often run the risk of “unduly bringing down the staff of the Penitentiary Police in a role and responsibility that do not belong to their training.”
Palma emphasized that “the prison cannot respond to an uneasiness that is something else”. He therefore reiterated the importance of not giving in to a drift that shows the offender simply as an enemy and is often accompanied by a “lack of attention to reconciliation tools” which should be a valid alternative to “Criminal law, a a hard tool “. , subsidiary and also costly that it should restrict its intervention only to situations in which other methods of intervention have failed. “Because, Palma recalls,” rights do not stop at gates and walls. “
In addition, the Guarantor has also returned to some topics that are also very current, such as the parliamentary debate onLife imprisonment (“Definitely pejorative provisions with respect to the regulations on which action was taken”), thenumeric identifier for police officers (requested “focused on the need to identify the tools and means that are available and that can be used for the defense of order and security during operations in closed structures”) anduse of the taser (“A weapon that, although defined as non-lethal, requires all precautions regarding the use of any weapon”).
The Guarantor’s report will now be sent to all institutions and, Palma announced, “will be the subject of a second report with the surveillance magistrates, the regional administrators of the Penitentiary Administration and the network of guarantors of private individuals freedom.