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Stop prison overcrowding!

Prison overcrowding – Threatening the health and safety of prison officers

Tuesday 26 February 2008

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In a great deal of EU Member States there exists overpopulation of prisons. The majority of prisons in Europe are dealing with more prisoners than the establishments are designed for originally. This problem is present in many EU Member States.

Prison overcrowding and prison population growth pose major challenges to the prison administration and to the criminal justice system as a whole. It affects the management of penal institutions and additionally breaches the human rights principles as laid out in the European Convention.

The number and length of long-term sentences contribute to this problem as well as the many foreign prisoners that are held in prison in other EU Member States. Solutions lay in treating mental illnesses and addictions outside prisons and using community alternatives as response to non-violent crime.

As a European Social Partner, EUROFEDOP initiates the protest against overpopulated prisons and contributes to negotiating solutions at national and European level. The overcrowded prisons hugely affect the health and safety of prison officers. The fact that most prisons in Europe are understaffed, also contributes to the dramatic situation visible today.

EUROFEDOP promotes a solid social dialogue at national and European level to discuss the working conditions and the safety of the prison officers. This week, EUROFEDOP’s members are undertaking actions to fight for a healthy and safe working environment for prison officers.

On February 28th European Justice Ministers gather in Brussels to discuss the developments in the sector.

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