Moroccan NGO cites overcrowding as major problem in Moroccan jails
Morocco, Judicial, 9/13/2002
The Moroccan observatory of prisons said in its annual report on prisons published Wednesday, that overcrowding remains one of the major problems in Moroccan prisons as the number of new inmates exceeds accommodation capacity of jails.
The observatory which held a press conference to present its 2001-2002 report says new inmates reach 5,000 individuals annually. The accommodation capacity of the three new prisons does not exceed 1,800 persons.
Morocco counts presently 50,000 prisoners, growing by 12% compared to last year, says Abderrahim Jamai, a member of the association who noted however that the new law on the organization and management of penitentiary institutions is a breakthrough that meets the claims of the civil society but its implementation requires a continuous follow-up.
The association, endeavoring to guarantee the rights of prisoners and shield them against any abuse or illegal measure, was also astonished that the budget allocated to the penitentiary administration was cut by 10% in 2002 and noted that reducing the number of prisons custodians will not enable them carry out adequately their mission.
The observatory, set up in 1999, also drew attention to the overcrowding, the poor health services and abuses of some agents working in prisons. A call was launched for "a revolution" in the penal policy in Morocco in order to face the poor implementation of the law and ill-treatments in some penitentiary centers.
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