Psychological problems abound in Geneva jail

Almost half the inmates of Switzerland’s largest prison, Champ-Dollon in Geneva, suffer from psychological problems, a study has found.

This content was published on December 28, 2010 - 11:29 and agencies

The study, whose results were published on Tuesday, said that 45.3 per cent of men and 56.6 per cent of women had various emotional problems.

Carried out by researchers at Geneva’s University Hospital from 2007, the study examined 1,510 different cases on inmates between the ages of 18 and 82. The average age was 30.

Substance abuse was widespread, with 41.2 per cent drinking alcohol, 35.9 per cent smoking hash, 31.1 per cent on tranquillisers, 26.6 per cent sniffing cocaine and 17.4 per cent on heroin.

Almost seven out of ten people smoked tobacco, more than double the number in the rest of the Swiss population.

Among the findings were claims that 11.6 per cent of men and 9.2 per cent of women were victims of violence from police or prison wardens.

Champ-Dollon was originally built for 270 inmates. At the time of the study the prison was housing between 450 and 500.

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