The visit mainly focused on Corradino Correctional Facility, the only prison in Malta. In certain parts of the prison, material conditions of detention had significantly improved since the CPT’s previous visit in 2008. However, major shortcomings were found once again in several other areas of the establishment (in particular, as regards the state of repair of cells and access to natural light). The situation was further exacerbated by the prevailing overcrowding and the lack of organised activities for many prisoners. The CPT has recommended in particular that a comprehensive plan to renovate the entire prison be drawn up as soon as possible.
The CPT also carried out follow-up visits to Lyster and Safi Barracks, the only two detention centres for foreigners which were operational at the time of the visit. In its report, the Committee expresses concern about the frequency and seriousness of allegations received from foreign nationals about the force used by soldiers and police officers in the context of disturbances which had occurred in August 2011 at the Safi Detention Centre; it has recommended that a comprehensive inquiry by an independent body be carried out into this matter.
At the Lyster Detention Centre, the CPT observed improvements both in terms of material conditions and activities provided to foreign nationals. However, the conditions under which foreign nationals were being held in the two Warehouses at Safi Barracks remained very poor. Further, in both detention centres, the health-care services were clearly insufficient.
Following a brief visit to Mount Carmel Psychiatric Hospital, the CPT has expressed serious misgivings about the manner in which agitated or suicidal patients had on occasion been managed. It has also made a number of specific recommendations to improve living conditions in the Forensic Ward and the Ward for Irregular Migrants.
In their response, the Maltese authorities provide information on the action taken to address the recommendations made by the Committee on the issues described above.
The CPT’s report and the response have been published at the request of the Maltese authorities and are available on the Committee’s website (http://www.cpt.coe.int).