overcrowding, lack of staff, critical situation at Bayonne prison

overcrowding, lack of staff, critical situation at Bayonne prison
overcrowding, lack of staff, critical situation at Bayonne prison

LThe tone is serious. Words weigh heavily. The situation at the Bayonne remand center is “more than catastrophic”. An inter-union (FO, CGT, Ufap) of prison guards wrote this in a letter addressed to the interregional director of services, Wednesday June 19. The report is accompanied by an invitation to come and see the slump on site, “before the ship sinks definitively into the abyss”.

The 70-place facility has reached 161 inmates. “A record”, according to Romuald Guillon, FO delegate. “For the safety of staff and inmates, this is becoming untenable. » The situation is not new. At the end of 2022, the supervisors were already expressing their discomfort. But “it has never been worse,” assures Romuald Guillon.

National overpopulation

“We added a third floor to the bunk beds so no one sleeps on the floor, but mattresses will soon need to be installed. » Three to four residents in 9 square meter cells overheated by the first rays of sunlight. Promiscuity gives rise to knee-jerk reactions.

For Romuald Guillon, “decluttering” is urgently needed. The remand center should only accommodate people awaiting trial. “We have 95 who should go to another establishment to serve their sentence. Some have been there for more than three years,” warns Romuald Guillon. The Bayonne establishment is hitting a wall. There is a shortage of more than 10,000 prison places nationally. “Incarcerated people do not have to suffer from the laxity of policies for years. »

It is impossible, under these conditions, to correctly support atypical profiles. Like this arsonist, “a lamb when he takes his medication”, who has already had two attacks on staff in three months. Or this inmate undergoing gender transition. “She should be placed in solitary confinement for her protection, but we don’t have a dedicated ward. So we adapt and hope that it goes well. So that she can go to shower for example, we have to block all movements in the detention. » Not easy to manage with a workforce at half mast.

Exhausted staff

“The situation is very alarming. Around a third of the staff is missing between sick leave and unreplaced positions,” Nicolas Crouzat, CGT delegate. The burden falls on those who remain. “We work around fifty hours of overtime per month. » Twelve-hour days are not uncommon. Cohesion helps hold things together. The proximity to the inmates, allowed by the modest size of the establishment, too.

“Most play the game,” explains Romuald Guillon. They see that we are few in number, that we are tired. They remain quiet, but it would only take a few leaders to turn the prison around. If, while out walking, five or six start fighting, there will only be three of us to manage. What can we do but let it happen? This letter addressed to our management is a call for help.” As of Friday, he had not yet received a response.

-

-

PREV Toulouse. 1st Kayak and Run: a successful baptism of fire for all generations
NEXT Toulouse. Aviron Toulousain wins the club ranking