PN proposes inmates addicted to drugs be treated outside prison

Nationalist Party unveils proposals for prison reform • Beppe Fenech Adami says drug problem in prison still prevalent, despite claims the problem has been wiped out

Beppe Fenech Adami (left) and Nationalist candidate Graziella Galea deliver proposals for prison reform
Beppe Fenech Adami (left) and Nationalist candidate Graziella Galea deliver proposals for prison reform

The Nationalist Party is proposing inmates addicted to drugs be given more specialised care outside the prison walls as it unveils proposals for reform.

PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami said that only 2% of inmates are treated for their addiction outside prison, despite statistics showing the number of addicts is much higher.

Fenech Adami was presenting a set of nine proposals intended to improve the situation at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

The PN is proposing more rehabilitation programmes, like Caritas’ Prison Inmate Programme be introduced.

He said there is still widespread drug use in prison despite claims by director Alex Dalli that the problem has been eradicated.

“It is of no use having inmates who finish their sentence as addicts. That is not rehabilitation,” he said.

He also said the prison’s administration must not serve to instil fear but to rehabilitate people. “The PN believes in discipline, but not discipline that takes the person's humanity away. Prisoners should retain their dignity,” he said.

To curb the prison’s overpopulation problem, the PN is proposing the prison structure be extended to accommodate inmates in humane conditions.

Fenech Adami said that nearly half the prison population are individuals under preventive arrest. “This is unjust for the accused, this is unjust for the victims. We have to address this issue, by primarily addressing the problem in our courts. Preventive arrest should only be used for serious cases.”

He also said the PN will be pushing towards repatriating foreign inmates back to their country of origin. “Under a number of treaties, these inmates can serve the sentence in prisons at their own country.”

He said the PN agreed with government’s White Paper on electronic tagging of inmates, stating that it can be an effective tool towards reducing the CCF’s population.

Fenech Adami stated the country’s parole system is broken, with only a small number of inmates having made use of the system. “The PN is also proposing a parole system be introduced for elderly inmates or prisoners in critical condition.”