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The CPT visits Italy

A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a visit to Italy from 8 to 21 April 2016. It was the Committee's seventh periodic visit to the country.
27/04/2016
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The visit provided an opportunity to assess the conditions of detention and treatment of persons held in prisons, in particular as regards the measures recently introduced by the Italian authorities in order to curb the rate of prison overcrowding. In addition, the delegation examined the situation of inmates subject to a maximum security regime (so called “41-bis regime”) at the prisons of Ascoli Piceno and Sassari.  Attention was also paid to the treatment and safeguards afforded persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies.

For the first time, the delegation assessed the situation of forensic psychiatric patients accommodated in Residences for the Execution of a Security Measure (REMS) following major reforms in the country’s mental health legislation. A visit was also carried out to one of the remaining judicial psychiatric hospitals (OPG), as well as to the civil psychiatric department of a general hospital, where patients may be subjected to “involuntary medical treatment” (TSO). In addition, the delegation examined the treatment offered to patients at a prison psychiatric observation unit and at a secure unit within a general hospital.

In the course of the visit, the CPT’s delegation met with Andrea ORLANDO, Minister of Justice, Gennaro MIGLIORE, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Justice, Domenico MANZIONE, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior and senior officials of the Ministry of Health, as well as representatives of the Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia di Stato.

Further, the CPT’s delegation met with Mauro PALMA, the recently appointed Head of the national authority for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty (Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della liberta' personale). Meetings were also held with competent regional authorities and with non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.

At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the authorities of Italy.

The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:

  • Xavier RONSIN, Head of Delegation
  • Régis BERGONZI
  • Joan CABEZA
  • Philippe MARY
  • Maria Rita MORGANTI

They were supported by Janet FOYLE and Christian LODA of the CPT’s Secretariat and assisted by two experts:

  • Dan DERMENGIU, forensic doctor, Director of the National Institute of Legal Medicine "Mina Minovici", Bucharest (Romania)
  • Catherine PAULET, psychiatrist, Head of the Regional Medico-Psychological Service at Baumettes Prison, Marseille (France)

 The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

Law enforcement establishments
  • Ascoli Piceno State Police Headquarters (Questura)
  • Florence State Police Headquarters (Questura)
  • Genova State Police Headquarters (Questura)
  • Turin San Paolo State Police Station
  • Chivasso Carabinieri Station
  • Como Carabinieri Provincial Headquarters (via D’Acquisto)
Prison establishments
  • Ascoli Piceno Prison
  • Como Prison
  • Genova Prison (Marassi)
  • Ivrea Prison
  • Sassari Prison
  • Turin Prison (including the Psychiatric Observation Unit « Il Sestante »)
Psychiatric establishments
  • Casa degli Svizzeri REMS, Bologna (Emilia Romagna)
  • Casa di Cura San Michele REMS, Bra (Piedmont)
  • Casa della Salute REMS, Pontecorvo (Lazio)
  • Castiglione delle Stiviere REMS (Lombardy)
  • Montelupo Fiorentino Judicial Psychiatric Hospital (OPG) (Tuscany)
  • Psychiatric Service for Diagnosis and Care (SPDC), Molinette Hospital, Turin
Other establishments
  • Holding cells of the Como Court
  • Secure unit at Molinette Hospital, Turin.

Preventing torture in Europe
www.cpt.coe.int

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