Inmates suffering from ‘inhumane conditions’ due to unbearable heat: Andrew Azzopardi

Social wellbeing faculty Dean Andrew Azzopardi says inmates and prison guards are living and working in inhumane conditions due to the heat inside the Corradino Correctional Facility

Corradino Correctional Facility (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Corradino Correctional Facility (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Social wellbeing faculty Dean Andrew Azzopardi said inmates are suffering from “inhumane treatment” due to the “unbearable heat” inside their cells.

He said temperatures inside cells is reaching temperatures of 30 °C, calling for action to be taken by prison authorities.

Azzopardi listed possible measures that included installing air conditioners or other cooling systems, treating roofs to minimise heat, giving inmates cold water at night and allowing them to spend more time in cooler areas during heatwaves.

He also added that where there is more than one person in a cell, an alternative should be found to have only one prisoner in each cell.

The Corradino Correctional Facility, located in Paola, dates back to 1842 with additions constructed over the years. The prison, which houses approximately 600 inmates, is reportedly un-equipped to handle the extreme heat, with most cells lacking ventilation.

Azzopardi emphasised that these measures are crucial not only for the wellbeing of the inmates but also for the prison staff working under the same extreme conditions.

‘‘If these actions are not carried out, then we are not really keeping in mind that these are human beings, they made as many mistakes as they did, and we are confirming that we are not interested in reform but simply in revenge,’’ he stated.

He warned that failure to implement these changes would constitute a “fundamental violation of human rights” and that we shouldn’t forget that a past inmate wanted to harm himself due to the pressures of the heat becoming too unbearable.