The Italian national Ombudsman for Prisoners has reported that suicides in Italian jails have jumped to a 10-year high. Although, Prison overcrowding is a chronic problem in Italy but the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic had made inmates’ lives even more miserable. The reports suggest that more than 84 prisoners have killed themselves during the past year and the current statistics present a grim picture of the Italian jails.
Italy is a centuries-old democracy with rich western culture and pluralistic society. The Europeans have a high-quality living while prisoners enjoy maximum amenities including attending visitors, playing indoor games, watching movies and recreational films, and other leisure activities during their detention in the jails. Historically, Italian, Sicilian mafias, drug smugglers and rocketers, and criminal networks are notorious worldwide for their cruelties, fast and preplanned robberies, and influence on Italian governments. It is a common saying that Italian gangesters used to visit Jails for taking rest and enjoyment after having a busy schedule for their criminal activities.
Accoridng to the authorities, Italy’s prison suicide rate now stands at around 15.4 per 10,000 inmates, against a median of 5.2 among members of the 46-nation Council of Europe, which really portrays worrisome statistics because innocents normally do not go to jails, while criminals do not fear from detention regulations and COVID-19 restrictions that had been reduced over the past one year. The European Human Rights Groups accused the Italian Prison Police of misbehaving and poor treatment of prisoners which is commonly called a lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key mentality contributing to making prisons lost places, those compelled homeless inmates to seize their breath.
The Italian government must review its prison laws as no inmate embraces death who keeps a desire for life or has a ray of hope for release from prison. Apparently, genuine criminals have worn the uniform of wardens and now playing with the lives of poor inmates. After all, a criminal repeats his crime until gets reprimanded, whether he is in uniform or plain clothes.