Overcrowding in prisons: Communist senators propose “regulatory” mechanism
The communist-majority CRCE group in the Senate introduced a bill on Thursday to “end prison overcrowding” through “a mandatory mechanism” to regulate prison release, in accordance with an occupancy rate cap.
This text, presented as the first phase of a “prison decay plan”, was edited well before “the dissenting controversy” at the end of August around a karting event organized at Fresnes prison, stressed the group’s president, Eliane Assassi, during a press conference.
Specifically, under this bill, once the alert threshold (set at 90% of occupancy rate) is exceeded due to a new incarceration decision, the sentencing judge would be required to consider adjusting sentences. Otherwise, a “broom trial” would allow sentence reductions for prisoners serving less than six months in prison.
According to Justice Ministry statistics provided by Ms. Assassi, on August 1st prison facilities had 71,819 inmates for 60,719 places, ie a prison density of 118.3% compared to 109.5% the previous year.
She defended a bill that “breaks with the decisions taken” and “scourges a vision of the penitentiary system only from the point of view of punishment and repression (…) that runs counter to the goals of rehabilitation”.
The General Secretary of the Syndicate of Lawyers of France, Thomas Fourrey, supported a “courageous bill (…) in a very unfavorable media wind”.
Anne-Sophie Wallach, national secretary of the Syndicat de la magistrature, also welcomed “a first step to push the boundaries”.
The bill can only be discussed in the Senate plenary hall in a “niche” reserved for the faction, the next one is planned for December. But around twenty new texts are already pending… “Instead of making a CNR, we should give the opposition many more niches,” suggested CRCE Senator from Val-de-Marne Pascal Savoldelli.
Mr Savoldelli and his colleague Laurence Cohen, who visited Fresnes prison in late August, said they were “shocked” by the state of “decay and decay of the facility” and in particular described a visiting room for children “under – sol” where ” there is no trace of humanity”.
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