Boom of foreigners in prison, Delmastro: “They will go to their homes in their cells”

In Italy, prisons suffer from an overcrowding rate of 119%. Of the 51,249 available places, there are 56,674 prisoners, so there are 5,500 more prisoners than capacity. The weather he spoke with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, Andrea Delmastro, to understand how the government is trying to deal with the problem.
Undersecretary Demastro, what solutions do you intend to adopt to solve the problem of overcrowding in prisons?

“The left always proposes emptying prisons, which doesn’t work because generally those who are released go back to prison, on average, after 6 months. We are working on a €84 million prison construction plan for the construction of 8 new pavilions and the renovation of existing but unusable cells”.
About a third of those arrested are foreigners. Is there a possibility that we could, within the scope of the Mattei Plan, also include agreements for the fulfillment of sentences in the countries of origin, in order to lighten the burden in our penitentiaries?

«Of the 51,249 prisoners, 17,987 are foreigners and cost, like all the others, 137 euros a day, which makes 899 million 439 thousand and 935 euros a year. That is why we are working on a project, linked to the Mattei Plan, which provides for the signing of agreements with the countries of origin so that those convicted in Italy can serve their sentences in prisons in their countries. As part of this agreement, we will try to overcome the prisoner’s will.”
Yes, because today, in order to transfer a prisoner outside the EU, the will of the prisoner is also required, who can refuse to serve the sentence in the country of origin.

How do you intend to “convince” the countries of origin to accept the return of their condemned compatriots to Italy?

«Through a reward mechanism. Italy would guarantee support for the training of workers on the spot, also guaranteeing a greater number of entries of qualified regular workers (extra-flows) in return, African countries would have to accept the return of their compatriots detained in Italian prisons”.
Similar agreements already exist for Albania and Romania. Each agreement would be subject to guaranteeing a series of requirements and the treatment of prisoners.
Prisons suffer from overcrowding and, at the same time, from understaffing. Are you working on that too?

“We are also working on that. Meanwhile, the recruitment of pedagogical legal staff continues, educators who accompany the inmates on the path of social reintegration; this is in relation to the treatment side. On the security side, 1,479 men from the 181st police training course penitentiaries already entered service in August. Another 300 will be hired through the ranking. In addition, two other training courses were financed: the first with 1,713 students and the second with 1,758. It is not an easy job because we came from years of divestments, scourged by Madia law”.

What about drug-addicted prisoners?

“I am one-third of the prison population. We must also intervene in this issue because we have seen that training courses are not enough for this type of inmate. Just to give an example: you’re going to prison for a crime related to your drug addiction, I’m going to put you on a professional training course, maybe teaching you how to be a ceramist. You can get out of prison because you’re an excellent potter, but if you’re still a drug addict, we don’t solve anything. If, on the other hand, already in the court of first instance, we manage to get you to serve your sentence in a third sector nursing home, maybe you will leave detoxified, thus reducing the possibility of recidivism”.

Source: IL Tempo