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Napolitano blames regional failure for prison decree

Extends federal oversight of judicial psychiatric hospitals

01 April, 13:28
Napolitano blames regional failure for prison decree (ANSA) - Rome, April 1 - President Giorgio Napolitano said Tuesday that he signed "with great regret" an urgent extension of a 2011 law on judicial psychiatric hospitals (OPG) because regions that were supposed to take responsibility for the facilities have failed to do so.

Napolitano said that regional departments of mental health have not yet "implemented civilized standards" as required to take over management of centres that hold convicted prisoners judged mentally unable to be held responsible for their crimes.

"I signed with great regret the urgent extension," Napolitano said in a statement.

"The regions have not been able to effectively implement the...elementary criteria of civility and respect for the dignity of vulnerable people," he said.

The president added he felt "some relief" that the new bill will continue measures to protect mentally unwell prisoners.

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