– Published 25 May 2018.

Antigone has been advocating for a long time to urge the Government to reform the penitentiary system. A law was supposed to bring significant changes, such as:

  • Equalization of psychiatric diseases to physical diseases with the aim of providing an adequate medical and juridical treatment.
  •  The improvement and modernization of some aspects of the detainees’ life in prison.
  •  The citation of European Penitentiary Rules in the new penitentiary code.
  •  The enlargement of alternatives measures which are by far less expensive than prisons, and more effective in reducing reoffending and guaranteeing society security.

They would have represented a step forward for the penitentiary system, but recent events show that it will not happen.

These reforms, while necessary, only covered a few aspects of what needed to be done, according to Antigone. You may discover below the main facts brought to light by the association’s annual report.

An increase of 600 people in the past three months

Surveillance judges in Lazio region grant seven times less temporary permits than in Lombardy

123 people died in Italian prisons in 2017: 52 were suicides

72 % more inmates under watch for radicalization

In Italy, there are several prison newspapers




Antigone is Prison Insider’s correspondent since November 2015. The organization defends human rights within the Italian penal and penitentiary system. They organize cultural events, publish thorough investigations, offer advice to authories writing normative texts and visit prisons.

Their website
Their annual report, in Italian


One year in prison – Press release

Over 2,000 visits to prison in 20 years. Despite improvements, much remains to be done for the rights and dignity of detainees.