France is once again slapped on the fingers by the Council of Europe on the management of its prisons.
This body, which brings together the foreign ministers of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe or their delegates, met from 14 to 16 September to examine the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. .
It focused in particular on "the structural problem of overcrowding" and "poor conditions of detention in many penal establishments" after several recent convictions of France.
In January 2020, France was notably condemned for the “degrading treatment” suffered by 25 prisoners in prisons located in Nice, Nîmes, Fresnes, Ducos (Martinique), Mahault (Guadeloupe) and Faa'a Nuutania (Polynesia).
At the end of its meeting, the Committee asked the French authorities "to rapidly adopt measures to better distribute prisoners between establishments" and to carry out "a coherent long-term strategy to reduce the occupancy rate of prisons. .
Average prison density rose to 103% in November 2020
The Committee also calls for a strengthening of the resources devoted "to the development of non-custodial measures", and calls for "legislative measures" aimed at "regulating the prison population".
If the prison population had experienced a sharp decrease at the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the members of the Committee stress that the “latest figures attest to its increase, again, rapid and significant”.
The average prison density, at 117% before the crisis, had fallen to 96% in May 2020, before rising to 103% in November 2020.
The only positive point: the Committee also welcomed the creation of a "judicial remedy" for detainees, which opens up the possibility "of complaining of unworthy conditions of detention", the entry into force of which is expected from 1 October. .