Topic as many inmates as it can hold. The

1: What is the Problem?

France has broken its own record of prison overcrowding as
security boosts across the country in resply to recent terror attacks. Conditions
at Fresnes, in the Val de Marne region east of the capital, are “inhuman
or degrading” according to the European Court of Human Rights norm. The prison
holds twice as many inmates as it can hold. The situation has deteriorated
since their last visit two years ago, while the prison’s population has soared
52 percent in the last 10 years to 3,000. Meanwhile there is shortage or
management and supervisory staff and an estimated 70 percent of wardens are
trainees. There is overpopulation of inmates, visiting rooms are small and
dirty, toilets lack privacy and hygiene is deplorable, rats infest the prison
courtyard, and have also invaded parts of the building, their urine leaking
through artificial ceilings in the cells, and violent incidents between prisoners
are frequent.

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2: How does the problem affect the country?

Suicide rates in French prisons are exceedingly high. “It’s
shameful for a country like France to keep people with mental health conditions
locked up for months or years in prisons without adequate access to mental
health care,” said Izza Laghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights
Watch. Men and women with psychological disabilities are at risk of
suicide or harming themselves. In some cases when their condition deteriorates they
transferred to psychiatric hospitals against their will. Return to the
prison environment – without sufficient support or appropriate accommodations –
can lead to a recurrence of mental health conditions and re-hospitalization,
sometimes ensnaring prisoners in an endless cycle of hospitalization,
discharge, deterioration, and re-hospitalization. Such a cycle is both harmful
to the patient’s health and disruptive and costly to the prison and the
hospital involved. The economic crisis has had no
impact on the annual budget of the prison administration. However, most of the
additional funds were allocated to increase the prison estate rather than rehabilitation
intiavtives. The number of prisoners employed in the industrial sector has
decreased by 9%. s. Prisoners and their families are also affected by the
crisis. Beyond these issues, the impact of the crisis is felt at the political
level. The Government highlights the context of fiscal restraint to turn down
any proposal to improve conditions of detention or to take into account the
relatives of prisoners (strengthening social protection of detainees, financial
support to families to enable them to cope with the expenses, increased
training etc.).