The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has released a report on its most recent visit to Italy, which warns on the conditions of Italian prisons.
The CPT's report on Italy
According to the CPT, overcrowding indeed is a concern as many prisons are 'still operating above capacity'. Furthermore, the report acknowledges multiple cases of ill treatment based on prisoners' allegations of 'slaps, punches, kicks and blows with batons', both during arrest and in police custody.
The report says that solitary confinement is excessively used, often without guaranteeing adequate monitoring. It also notes the many reports of delays in getting access to a lawyer or - in the case of non-Italian speakers - getting information on one's rights in one's own language.
In short, the CPT maintains that persons in police custody do not always benefit from the safeguards afforded them by law, and poor detention conditions are said to be on offer at several prison establishments as well as in local police and Carabinieri establishments.
Antigone joins the warning
Prisoners' rights group Antigone said the CPT report confirmed the issues they had denounced in recent months.
A recently released report by Antigone indeed said the overcrowding rate in Italian prisons was back to worrisome levels, having raised to 113% (and, in some jails, going as high as 185%).
Antigone also reported that already 29 Italian inmates have killed themselves so far in 2017, and the organisation's president, Patrizio Gonnella, called for 'immediate measures' to be taken.