Culture And Media

Italy: 40 percent of prisoners are immigrants, says report

Rome, 28 April (AKI) - Almost 40 percent of the prisoners held in Italian jails are foreign-born, according to an Italian news report published on Monday.

The daily newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, says Moroccan and Romanian immigrants make up the largest number of foreigners in Italian jails with 4,199 Moroccans and 2,738 Romanians in prison.

The newspaper report was based on statistics released by the Italian penitentiary administration department.

Of the total 51,763 prisoners jailed in Italy, 19,583 or close to 40 percent are of foreign origin, and the trend is growing, according to the report.

Among the large numer of foreign nationals held in Italian prisons are Albanians, Tunisians, Algerians and Nigerians.

The statistics show a substantial increase in the detention of immigrants particularly from Marocco, Romania, Tunisia and Nigeria in the past two years.

Many of these people have been jailed because of their illegal status, and have not been involved in violent behaviour or other criminal allegations, the report said.

"Today, if we are not able to deport illegal immigrants, we arrest them," said Lorenzo Miazzi, a prosecutor from the northeastern Italian city of Rovigo.

Miazzi also said in order to reverse the trend, Italy must decriminalise behaviour which is not violent, against people or property.

Il Sole 24 Ore is owned by Italy's largest private employers' organisation Confindustria.




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