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Monti proposes 16-mln-euro prisoner work program

Measure responds to prison overcrowding

11 January, 19:50
Monti proposes 16-mln-euro prisoner work program (ANSA) - Rome, January 11 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti on Friday proposed a measure allocating 16 million euros for prisoner work programs that should relieve overcrowding in Italian prisons.

"We need structural reforms to solve the issue of prison overcrowding, which has recently been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg," Monti said in a note, pointing to the government's December 2011 decree making house arrest an option for prisoners serving their last 18 months.

A bill on alternatives to incarceration has yet to be passed, he said. "Meanwhile, we must give prisoners some hope, because several studies show the rate of repeat offences is significantly lowered when they have been given alternative measures or been allowed to work," the premier said.

Justice Minister Paola Severino and Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli submitted the measure, which is to be financed under the so-called Stability Law, according to the note.