French prisons cells as hotel rooms?

This week announcement of the minister of justice Nicole Belloubet of telephone installations in each of the 50,000 cells in the 178 prisons in France, in a bid to slash the growing use of forbidden mobile phones and internet-connected smartphones, raises indignation among politicians. (Image: illustration)

“Do you find it is normal, that when you rape, when you kill, you will have telephone? Do you find it is normal that prisons will be like hotels? I don’t accept it. If they don’t change it,  tomorrow police will attacked even more” – warned Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the former candidate in presidential elections, pointing that the aim of fighting the illegal cell telephones in prisons will have ill effects.

“I’m indignant” – continued Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the leader of Debout La France (DLF) party. He added that there are rural areas in France where there is no telephone communication, but the criminals in prisons will have telephones due to project of the minister.

‘When I see it, I ask myself if I’m in country of insane, I ask myself if in the ministry of justice there are insane?!” – Nicolas Dupont-Aignan exclaimed during interview with  France2 TV channel.

“Prison is not the Club Med! What is next? Subscription to Chanal+ for cinematographic culture?!” – tweeted Member of the European Parliament Renaud Muselier (Le Républicains (LR) party), addressing his message to the minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet. “We are awaiting the restoration of the authority of the State and severe punishment of criminals!”



According to Minister Belloubet project, prisoners will have free access to the phones 24/7, but will only be able to call up to four outside numbers that have been authorised beforehand.
The roll-out comes after a successful trial at the Montmédy prison (Meuse), which reported prisoners use their allotted calling numbers regularly.
During the trial, the use of prohibited mobile phones decreased by 30%; a percentage that was also helped by the seizure – in the first trimester of 2017 – of 200,000 mobile phones, SIM cards and chargers.

Previously, the deprivation of the contacts with the close ones, family and friends was considered as a part of punishment, the notion started to evade in times of cell phones, and smart phones.

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