Rabat – Prisons in Morocco no longer have the capacity to accommodate the soaring number of inmates, Mohamed Saleh Tamek, the Delegate General of the Penitentiary and Reintegration Administration, has said.
During an intervention on Wednesday at the Justice, Legislation and Human Rights Commission in the House of Councilors, Morocco’s upper house of the Parliament, Tamek revealed that the number of inmates in the country has exceeded 80,000 prisoners.
The Delegate General of the Penitentiary and Reintegration Administration warned that the overcrowding of prisons is obstructing the efforts that have been made to create conditions for inmates where their dignity and security are preserved.
Tamek also revealed that prisons in Morocco are understaffed, adding that the Administration has 400 job openings for this year.
However, this number is not enough since five new penitentiaries are to be built by 2021 in regions where there are currently no prisons.
The prisons official explained that during the last two years, 11 new penitentiaries opened up while 8 others were closed because they were “not meeting required prison standards”.
He explained that the new prison helped decrease the rate of overcrowding by 45 percent in 2014 and 38 percent in 2016, and improved accommodation space for each prisoner, moving from 1.59 m2 in 2012 to 1.86 m2 in 2016.
In the same vein, Tamek said there has been also an improvement in hygiene inside prisons. Today the ratio is one doctor for 820 inmates, one dentist for 1,381 inmates, a nurse for 162 prisoners and 6 diagnoses for each prisoner per year.
Mortality rate in prisons has stabilized to 2 percent annually, Tamek added.