Prisoners who complain get more abuse

by Annalisa Lista - 2014.03.11

A growing number of prison detainees in France are being mistreated because they report some of the irregularities of the prison system. The serious accusation is made in the latest report by France's controller general of prisons ( Contrôleur Général des Lieux de Privation de Liberté). The report highlights the paradox that, in French prisons, detainees who report the deplorable prison conditions to the authorities have a worse time than violent or unruly inmates. Watched over by prison staff, inmates who dare to complain suffer constant threats and retaliation: from the non-delivery or the opening of letters of complaint, to threats of transfer. They also face extra searches and are left out of some daily activities. Some are denied the right to see their loved ones. There is also bullying and provocation, such as being woken up in the middle of the night with a torch or being verbally abused until they snap. So what are the abuses that inmates mostly report in the first place? In most cases they include violence, discrimination, thefts and a lack of access to health care.

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