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A phone call may extend your life

It’s 2020, at the height of COVID-19 lockdown: a series of brutal acts against prisoners take place in Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison. A year later, on July 14th, President Mario Draghi and Minister Marta Cartabia held a press conference about the investigation on these episodes to publicly stigmatize that violence. During those days a Commission was set up for innovation of the penitentiary system led by prof. Marco Ruotolo. Some administrative, regulatory and normative proposals were carried out.

According to the author of this article (Patrizio Gonnella) it is time to approve these new reforms which must take care of rehabilitation, needs and rights of prisoners. The new prison regulations must include rules that widen the opportunities for work and study inside and outside the penitentiary walls, reduce the impact of the disciplinary model, and allow telephone and video calls for prisoners and the use of e-mails.

The article highlights that twenty-seven prisoners have committed suicide this year. Suicides and tensions, according to Patrizio Gonnella, cannot be contrasted by locking detainees in their cells, but by humanizing and modernizing life in prison.

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