A suicide every 3 days, the drama of prisons in Antigone’s dossier

Since the beginning of the year, 29 inmates have taken their own lives in prison with an average of 1 every 3 days. A trend which, if confirmed, will assign 2024 the title of black year for penitentiary facilities, even surpassing 2022 when 84 people were killed behind bars. The volunteers of Antigone, the association “for rights and guarantees in the penal system” which will soon present the report entitled “Lump in the throat” ” precisely to draw attention to what is defined as a “real emergency”.

A drama every 3 days
A suicide every three days – underlined Sofia Antonelli from Antigone -. In 2022, the record year, these days there were 20 and now in 2024 we are at 29. If we continue at this rate we risk surpassing the tragic record of 84 suicides in 2022.” The volunteers then highlighted another aspect: «Mainly those who commit suicide in prison are people with great marginalization and suffering, many foreigners, with drug addictions, psychiatric pathologies. Many had recently been in prison, many were close to leaving it.”

A tragic count
In the tragic count of the first months it emerges that many young people took their own lives, from Ancona to Padua, from Poggioreale to Teramo, continuing with Verona, Turin, Vibo Valentia and Cagliari: 6 between 20 and 29 years old; 12 between 30 and 39.

«Of these 29, 48% were foreign – added the representative of the association -, 9 suffered from psychiatric problems, and had already attempted suicide: 1 was waiting for Rems, and instead took his own life in Turin March 24.” Two were drug addicts, two were homeless. Among the last to end up in prison was also the thirty-two year old who died in Cagliari.

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Too many prisoners in cells
Overcrowding is also weighing on the prison situation. «At the moment there are just over 61 thousand prisoners in prisons – remarked Patrizio Gonnella, president of Antigone -. The official regulatory capacity is around 51 thousand places, but it is a capacity which by the prison administration’s own admission is higher than the actual one, because there will be around 3-3500 temporarily unusable places, which are there on paper but in essence not . Overcrowding therefore actually affects 13-14 thousand people.” Gonnella then added: «We must not think of it as uniformly distributed across the 190 Italian prisons. Rebibbia in Rome, or the Sardinian prisons, for example, do not suffer from it. But in other places it becomes almost sensational.

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2024-04-12 14:25:45

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