Congestion in prisons remains one of the most important problems in European countries. According to the Council of Europe, 33% of European prisons face overcrowding. In addition, one in five detainees in Europe is in custody awaiting trial.Detention conditions vary from country to country, but in general there are poor living conditions, overcrowding, inadequate health care and incidents of violence among detainees. The countries of Europe have agreed in general guidelines on the regulations governing the detention of persons, as reflected in the non-binding European Prison Rules (EPR), signed by the members of the Council of Europe.
Given that at EU level the management of penitentiaries is the responsibility of the Member States and each country has a different legal system governing the severity of sentences and conditions of detention,
One of the best penitentiary systems is located in Norway and specially the Halden Fengsel penitentiary which can accommodate up to 252 inmates in its luxury cells.
The most "humane" prison in the world was built for ten whole years and 252 million were spent. The prison for the prisoners looks like ... a vacation, since each cell has its own TV and its own shower.
Also, the Leoben Justice Center prison in Austria is more like a multi-star hotel and less like a penitentiary. The 205 detainees enjoy high quality accommodation, while there is a large waiting list.
Instead, ‘La Sante’, one of the worst prisons in the world, is located in the beautiful city of Paris. Although the prison was built to accommodate 800 people, more than 3,800 inmates, and 250 serving short sentences, share a cell that normally only holds 50. They lack everything from mattresses to clothes. Hygiene conditions are poor, medical coverage is non-existent, with the result that epidemics are spreading. And with all that, drug abuse, rape and mutilation take place almost daily, while at the same time experiencing sadistic violence and cruelty from the guards.The French prison La Santé is notorious for the suicide attempts and suicides of its prisoners, who are going crazy by the tragic conditions that prevail.Many choose to be "relieved" of their torment by drinking sewage cleaner, since they do not have many other means to end their lives.
Βetween these two extreme examples there are different ratings by country. What Member States need to think about is which way they want to go.
((i)) Παρίσι, φυλακή της Σαντέ: «Σαν λυσσασμένος σκύλος» (indymedia.org)
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