Inmate Found Dead In Spanish Prison Triggers Security Alarms In Spain’s Prison Service

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The 66-year-old prison officer should have, in fact, retired last year, but wanted to continue working. Credit: Shutterstock

AN inmate from the Malaga prison Archidona was found dead on Friday morning at 7:45, the alarm was triggered during the change of prison guards where the prisoners are also counted.

The prisoner in question, a Spanish national, who shared a cell with his brother “did not react to the call to file out.” The head of services was immediately called as was the prison health services and the inmate was transferred to the infirmary, where his death was certified.

The judicial authority was informed and an investigation has been carried out into the cause of death, “not ruling out the possibility of an overdose”

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According to authorities, over the last year nine inmates have lost their lives in Malaga’s prisons, out of a total of 175 nationwide. Although a large number of these deaths have been due to natural causes, the prison unions Acaip and UGT highlight “the lack of human resources” in the province’s prisons which include Alhaurín de la Torre prison, Evaristo Martín Nieto Social Integration Centre and Archidona prison.

The concerns are also echoed by the association of prison workers “Tu Abandono Me Puede Matar,” (Your Abandonment Can Kill Me) who laments the death of the inmate and highlight the lack of personnel and resources which is causing “an alarming deterioration” of the prison service, with “increasingly serious” consequences for both inmates and professionals.
According to the association, one of the consequences to lack of personnel is “the practice of supplying the medication required by the inmates (psychotropics, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, anxiolytics…) in bags on the eve of holidays or long weekends”. A medication that should be given daily is delivered together for personal supply for several days, to people with little control over their behaviour, leading to the possibility of overdose by inmates, some accidental and others self-provoked.


The deficit of personnel is reflected in all sections of the prison service, from internal surveillance, offices, health personnel, cooks, maintenance personnel, etc.

The unions Acaip and UGT consider “a greater number of health professionals to be essential” with the aim of providing quality health care and guaranteeing the correct distribution of medication to prisoners.


Self-inflicted prison deaths in England and Wales have increased by 23% in a year, while drug abuse continues to plague facilities despite repeated recommendations to tackle the problems.

The number of prison deaths in the UK also rose by 6% to 334 in the financial year 2018-19.

 



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