16 March 2021

ARTICLE: The disproportion between the number of detained people and penitentiary staff: the “original sin” of the Italian penitentiary system

This Paper, released by the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli" in the framework of B-COMPETENT project, intends to address a specific issue arising from the national research carried on in Italy to assess the training needs of prison staff with regard to special needs and rights of Foreign Narionals in prison.

The article deals with the issue of the disproportion between the number of detained people and penitentiary staff, defined as the “original sin” of the Italian penitentiary system. This “endemic disease” is caused by two main reasons: the first one is, undeniably, the problem of overcrowding, which is a matter heartly felt at a European level and, nowadays, continues to affect the Italian legal system. In fact, although some measures were adopted due to the famous Sulejmanovic and Torreggiani leading cases and even if the Italian constitution entrusts the penalty with a re-educational purpose, the number of prisoners remains very high, yet. Moreover, the situation does not seem to have changed at the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic crisis.  The second reason, which is linked to the first one, is that, on the other side, there is a systemic lack of penitentiary staff and, due to the excessive use of prison sentences, creates management problems within penitentiaries. The document suggests that the problem of overcrowding and the opposite problem of lack of professional staff are meant to be read jointly and require incisive action by public prison policies.

Read the full Article HERE



Antonella CrocePhD student at Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli".

Daniela Bifulco, Full professor of public comparative law at the Law Department -University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Scientific coordinator of the project "B-Competent".