A new report released by the justice ministry shows that at the start of April, a record number of inmates were serving time in France.
The country’s prisons, designed to hold a maximum of 60,899 people, were accommodating 73,080 prisoners, meaning they were at 120 percent capacity.
According to Prune Missoffe, of the France-based International Prison Observatory rights monitor, the situation is “only getting worse, month by month”. She added that the government needs to “take measures to decrease the pressure on prisons until more structural measures are found”.
The European Court of Human Rights had previously ordered France to pay thousands of euros in damages to dozens of inmates as authorities had not taken sufficient measures to end overcrowding.
France hopes to make room for 15,000 more inmates by the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term in office in 2027.
However, a recent report by the court auditing public finances suggests that the implementation of this plan is lagging behind schedule.
It was found that the government had not even built enough new cells to reach its target of 7,000 extra spots in prisons by the end of 2020. AFP