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France spends fortune building new jails for criminals

(Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

The most popular politician of the opposition argues that foreign nationals who were admitted to France but committed crimes should be permanently expelled from the country. Marine Le Pen underlined that one fourth of inmates in French penal institutions are foreigners.

To reduce overcrowding in prison facilities, which poses a growing problem in France, the government has decided to have eight new prisons built by 2017, with capacities to absorb a total of 15 000 inmates.

Speaking at the construction site where one of these facilities will be built in Lutterbach, Haut-Rhin department, Prime Minister Jean Castex said that thanks to the project – implemented from a total budget of 4.4 billion euros – prison capacities will increase by 7,000 new places by 2022 in the first phase, and by another 8,000 places by 2027, during the project’s second phase.

In April 2017, after the first round of the presidential elections, President Macron pledged to create 15 000 new places to enhance the capacities of French penal institutions. PM Castex has re-tweeted Mr Macron’s original pledge, adding that they are delivering on their promise.

In Jean Castex’s view, a nation is judged through the quality of its prisons.

France’s penal policy cannot be determined by material constraints, the premier pointed out, adding that all efforts must be made to ensure that the laws of the Republic are fully enforced. According to Jean Castex, penal sanctions cannot be effective unless there’s enough capacity in the country’s prisons and, as part of the general rule of law requirements, inmates must be given suitable living conditions in jails, because the aim is not to humiliate them.

Speaking about the case, Marine Le Pen, president of the right-wing National Rally, told RTL that public security is a fundamental issue in the country, and the first step to reach that would be to deport foreign citizens who have been received by France but then committed a crime. The politician added that 25 per cent of inmates were foreign nationals, and many of them were repeat offenders. Ms Le Pen also voiced her concerns regarding Emmanuel Macron’s earlier statement, suggesting that social media may have played a role in the increasingly aggressive crimes.

In order to overcome the lack of public security, the French must be told about the real causes of crime and effective state action is needed, Marine Le Pen tweeted earlier.

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