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PRISON: CORONAVIRUS, PROCEDIMENTAL CLASS ACTION FOR RESPECTING HYGIENIC AND SANITARY MEASURES IN BARI PRISON

April 13, 2020:

The Hands off Cain-Spes contra spem association sponsors the procedural class action for compliance with sanitary measures in the Bari prison promoted by lawyers Luigi Paccione and Alessio Carlucci and hopes that similar actions will be taken for prisons in other cities.
The class action has as interlocutors the President of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Justice, the Public Prosecutor of Bari as well as the Mayor of the Municipality of Bari and the Metropolitan Area of Bari.
The action starts from the awareness that prison overcrowding is a permanent emergency in our country, but today, in times of "Coronavirus", it is even more so because the prison spaces available in prison facilities do not allow the State to guarantee the application of the hygiene and health safety rules that the government itself imposed on the entire territory of the Republic.
The Bari prison can accommodate 299 prisoners, there are 434 according to the latest estimates updated to 4 March 2020 on the official website of the Ministry of Justice.
This situation puts the health of prison staff and prisoners at serious risk and makes the principle of equal rights and non-discrimination provided for in international human rights charters and the Constitution of the Italian Republic waver. With these premises, the lawyers from Bari Luigi Paccione and Alessio Carlucci have promoted a popular initiative against the Government in light of the social role of the lawyer and in the exercise of the principle of "militancy of legal knowledge at the service of the common good against possible mass wrongs".
The two lawyers sent on Saturday 11 April an act of signification and invitation to the President of the Council of Ministers and to the Minister of Justice so that the Government will immediately allow "... compliance with the repeated governmental requirements regarding the maintenance, in social contacts, of a interpersonal distance of at least one meter, prohibition of gathering and effectiveness of sanitary hygiene measures to protect the health of prison staff and prisoners".
Lawyers Paccione and Carlucci also invited the Mayor of Bari and the Metropolitan Area to "verify through their Technical Offices, in agreement with the Ministry of Justice, the existence of objective conditions within the walls of the Bari Prison to guarantee the prisoners and prison staff the concrete application of the aforementioned legislation on interpersonal safety distance, prohibition of gathering and the effectiveness of health and hygiene prevention measures".
Finally, the two lawyers warn that "in the absence of fulfillment of the duty to ensure the protection of the right to prevention from contagion from viral agents transmissible within the Bari Prison, the juridical case of "mass wrong" may be considered conceivable. In this case, the underwriters of the legal action will be able to promote, even in place of the aforementioned local authorities, any legal remedy at national and supranational level suitable to ensure the restoration of republican legality, and consequently to impose the concrete application in the said Prison, without any discrimination, of the fundamental charters of universal, community and national law in terms of equal protection of health.

(Sources: HOC, 13/04/2020)

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