Inside the Chaotic World of Lantin Prison: Tensions, Overcrowding, and Inadequate Conditions

2023-09-19 18:46:00

Olivier has been a prison officer in Lantin for 14 years. For him, it is at the remand center, where the detainees are awaiting trial, that the situation is the most tense. “Tensions between cells, fights,…”, lists the one who is a CSC union delegate. “We have to find solutions quickly to separate the inmates and put them with someone else. There are smokers, non-smokers, etc. Day-to-day cohabitation is difficult.

There is a lot of noise in the building. “These are people who can’t take it anymore“, explains Sandra Berbuto, a lawyer. “They tell me to come and see inside the prisons how they are treated.

The cells were designed for one person. They are 9m² and the inmates are sometimes in twos or even threes. “Imagine being in your bathroom, sometimes two people“, continues the lawyer. “He stays there to sleep, to eat, to go to the toilet,… 23 hours a day.


These conditions are not conducive to health or hygiene. “There were bedbugs that spread at high speed“, says Solange Pourveur, president of the Lantin supervisory commission. “Some brought back tuberculosis. They only have two showers a week.

Henri regularly visits his wife. She has been in preventive detention for 8 months. Being a woman in Lantin is easier. “It’s still calmer than among men where it looks more like a zoo“, he said. “There is only one courtyard per day. If you have it at 8 a.m., that means you get home at 9 a.m. and until it goes out, you’re stuck with it.

Access to medical care, appointment with the social worker for reintegration,… in this overcrowded situation, all requests take much longer.

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