Jailhouse rot: the scandalous conditions inside one of France's oldest prisons

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France’s prison inspection agency this week published a scathing report on conditions at Marseille’s notoriously dilapidated jailhouse, Les Baumettes, which it described as amounting to “a grave violation of fundamental rights”, and has called on the government to take urgent remedial measures at the almost 80-year old prison where overcrowding reaches 146%. The insalubrious and understaffed prison was officially declared a fire hazard in 2011 and is, the inspectors found, home to colonies of rats, cockroaches and louse where racketeering and violence are rife. Michel Deléan reports.

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France’s prison inspection agency this week described conditions at Marseille’s notoriously dilapidated jailhouse, Les Baumettes, as “a grave violation of fundamental rights” and has called on the government to take urgent remedial measures at the almost 80-year old prison where overcrowding reaches 146%.