Inferno Prison: Two Women Dead in One Day Behind Bars

Two women died in a single day in the hell of the prison. Two tragedies occurred within the walls of Vallette prison in Turin: one woman committed suicide and another prisoner allowed herself to slowly die, refusing water, food, and treatment, constantly asking for her son. It has been a cursed summer in Italian prisons, overcrowded and counting 15 suicides, in addition to today’s tragedy. The unions are appealing to Nordio for a change in the management of prisons. These are stories of pain, like many others that unfold behind bars. Susan John, a 43-year-old Nigerian, had been at Vallette since July 21 after a long period of house arrest. She was serving a sentence (until 2030) imposed by a court in Catania for crimes involving trafficking and illegal immigration. She refused food, water, and medicine for 18 days. It is suspected that her deteriorating mental state led her to gradually let go, possibly out of desperation. She kept repeating that she wanted to see her four-year-old son, who remained with his father as Susan was married. She was held in an area of the women’s section reserved for inmates with psychiatric issues and behavioral problems. Her heart stopped beating around 3 am last night. The intervention of penitentiary police and medical personnel was unsuccessful. The cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, which the prosecutor’s office in Turin – where a file has been opened – intends to carry out on Monday. However, the woman’s lawyer, Manuel Perga, expresses anger and perplexity, stating that “the problem seems to have been underestimated from the beginning.” Monica Chiara Gallo, the ombudsman for prisoners’ rights in Turin, was never notified of the case: “we would have activated our procedures to try to do something.” The case has sparked outrage among politicians. The Radicals, through their president Igor Boni, speak of “the tip of the iceberg of a rotten system,” while Riccardo Magi, secretary of More Europe, describes it as a “shocking event” and announces an interrogation of Minister Nordio. Senator Ilaria Cucchi says, “This is a tragedy that cannot be tolerated in a country that professes to be civilized and democratic.” The prisoner who committed suicide at Vallette was 28 years old. She had been brought to the prison in Turin from Genova Pontedecimo. This is the 43rd suicide in prisons in 2023, with 16 of them occurring between June and August. Overcrowding and the summer heat make the situation of prisoners even more dramatic, according to Antigone. The association points out that during the summer months, the number of suicides increases, and highlights that Italian prisons house 10,000 more people than the available spaces, with an overcrowding rate of 121%. Unions are concerned: The Sappe states that the two deaths in a few hours in the Turin prison “require Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio to make a clear change in the country’s prison policies.” “It is necessary,” says Secretary General Donato Capece, “to envision a new custodial model. Prisons have been boiling for months.” Leo Beneduci, Secretary General of Osapp, says, “Considering an insolvable emergency, we can only stress the urgent need to appoint a commissioner for the Italian prison system.”

Inferno carcere, due donne morte in un giorno tra le sbarre

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