During the last 40 years in France the ever growing lack of sufficient prison cells has been deftly ignored by all Presidents and all political Parties.
Reports and statistics on Prisons lack precision and this prevents any meaningful comparisons from one era to the next. There is however one certainty : some leading prisons in France are now overcrowded by 40%.
Any simple solution, like just building more prisons, would never solve all the needs or create a modern Prison System on a National basis. A complete inventary of all weaknesses is therefore required.
Just a few critical weaknesses immediately reveal the extent of this serious problem :
1 - Long term and short term prisoners are detained in the same prisons, terrorists there indoctrinate other prisoners,
2 - Prison cells built for 1 or 2 occupants house 2 or 3,
3 - Security in prisons is weak : drugs, phones, knives etc. are smuggled in and are traded among inmates,
4 - Prison warders are attacked and their morale is low,
5 - To avoid overcrowding shorter prison terms are imposed and earlier remissions of sentences are accorded !
President Macron has vowed to change France in many respects and last week turned his attention to the problems faced by French prisons ! Some guardes have gone on strike after having been attacked by prisoners.
To find a solution may take a little time, but Macron wants to be seen as a man of action !