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Prison expands to cope with overcrowding

The notorious Champ-Dollon prison has inaugurated a new wing, built to ease chronic overcrowding among inmates.

The extension at the prison in canton Geneva - Switzerland's most overcrowded -has space for another 100 inmates, boosting the facility’s total capacity to 370 prisoners.

The extension will only partly address problems with overcrowding. As of Monday the prison was holding 456 people in detention, authorities said.

It will also provide better working conditions for guards, according to prison director Constantin Franziskakis.

A senator representing canton Geneva, Mark Muller praised the speed at which the new wing was built, 18 months after the government gave the go-ahead.

As of September 2010, Switzerland had 6,181 prison inmates, the largest number since 1999. Prisons in the French- and Italian-speaking cantons are at 105 per cent of capacity and the situation continues to worsen, according to the Swiss Statistics office.  

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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