Prisoners have never been so numerous in France, according to figures released Wednesday on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
With 69,430 people incarcerated, the number of inmates in French prisons has reached to on March 1st, a new record. The previous record dated back to 1st July 2016 when 69,375 inmates were counted.
The new figure is also reflected in an increase in criminal overcrowding since, March 1st, the ability of prisons to house these inmates was only 58,664 operational places. Among the detainees 1822 were installed directly on mattresses on the floor.
33 new prisons
This record comes during a presidential campaign as the leading candidates have taken a position on the prison issue.
Some like François Fillon (LR) or Marine Le Pen (FN) defend the principle of the construction of new prisons, the Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon calls him out “culture of detention” when the leader of En Marche !, Emmanuel Macron, attempts a synthesis advocating new prison places, alternatives to detention but also a “real enforcement of sentences” .
The Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas unveiled there less than a month the implementation towns of 21 of the 33 new prisons promised by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls to fight against criminal overpopulation.