Conditions of detention “Is indignant”, due to overcrowding “Dramatically high”. Almost three months after the controller general of places of deprivation of liberty denounced a situation “Unacceptable” at the Toulouse-Seysses remand center – and at the request of the French section of the International Prison Observatory and the Bar of Toulouse Bar -, the Toulouse summary judge ordered, Monday 4 October, the implementation of urgent measures to respond to a situation which would continue to deteriorate in this prison establishment.
The court gave reasons for these decisions in view of “Prison overcrowding which forces 173 detainees to sleep on mattresses on the floor, the lack of any privacy in the sanitary areas”, or because “Acts of violence (around 150 among many detainees each year) and endemic difficulties in accessing healthcare “.
On June 28, Dominique Simonnot, former journalist at Chained duck and general controller of places of deprivation of liberty, spoke in her report of “Some prisoners who sleep with toilet paper in their ears, so that cockroaches do not get inside”. A report, broadcast by France 2, confirms this information thanks to images shot by detainees. Located 25 kilometers south of Toulouse, commissioned in 2003 with an original capacity of 695 places, the remand center has 482 places today.
At the time of the check, the establishment housed 898 inmates, for an occupancy rate of 186%. “The situation is similar in the district of the women’s remand center, which accommodates 58 people for a capacity of 40, ie an occupancy rate of 145%”, a confirm the court. The establishment is, moreover, “Infested with many pests, while all the swinging doors intended to ensure the privacy of inmates in the sanitary spaces are broken”. Finally, 172 cells are occupied by three people, ie an available space per inmate of around 3.5 m².
Possible appeal to the Council of State
Reacting to these injunctions, Me Sébastien Delorge, of the Toulouse bar, says “Rather satisfied, even if all this had already been noted in the June report”. He makes, however, a few observations, such as “The change to two hours of walking per day instead of one after the Covid-19 crisis, which the management of Seysses still does not seem to have implemented”. The lawyer, like the International Prison Observatory, fears, however, that the Keeper of the Seals, Eric-Dupond-Moretti, will appeal the decision to the Council of State. “This has been the case in the past and it saves them time so that nothing changes”, they point out. At the end of the hearing, neither the ministry nor the management of the establishment wished to react.
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