Social movement at the Nîmes remand center, the Ufap union blocks transfers of detainees, hearings stalled in court

Social movement at the Nîmes remand center, the Ufap union blocks transfers of detainees, hearings stalled in court

David Dehaye et Johan Reigh du syndicat Ufap unsa pénitentiaire. HOCINE ROUAGDIA

Social movement at the Nîmes remand center, the Ufap union blocks transfers of detainees, hearings stalled in court

Les deux responsables dénoncent les manques d'effectifs. HOCINE ROUAGDIA

Supervisors from the Ufap unsa penitentiary union started a social movement this Tuesday morning at the Nîmes remand center. Blockage of prisoner transfers and grumbling from staff. At the Nîmes judicial court, the hearings are pending. Explanations.

Since dawn, prison guards have started a social movement at the Nîmes remand center to denounce their working conditions, mainly “degraded by the lack of staff and the prison overcrowding, explains David Dehaye of the Ufap Unsa union, present this Tuesday, April 2 alongside the agents gathered around the prison premises, particularly those dedicated to the transfers of detainees from the regional judicial extraction center (PREJ) . It is this service which supervises and carries out transfers of prisoners to the courts and it is precisely on this penitentiary unit that the supervisors wanted to act to slow down or paralyze the activity of the courts.< /p>

“We are constantly working in degraded mode", deplores David Dehaye. At the forefront of prison anger, the chronic lack of staff mentioned by the Ufap combined with prison overcrowding at the Nîmes remand center. The secretary of the union assures that only around a hundred agents ensure the operation of the Nîmes prison which contains "around 430 inmates for an initial capacity of 210, that's nearly 220% overpopulation, we explained this Tuesday morning on the sidelines of the gathering which adjoins the detainee transfer service. Another reason for the mobilization is the numbers announced by the prison administration, assures the Ufap representative. "We are told of the arrival of 23 agents for the entire region while structurally, there is a shortage of 200 positions for the entire region".

"It’is a spit in the face of colleagues"

Johan Reigh, the regional delegate of Ufap, considers that the lack of staff constitutes "a spit in the face of colleagues" already tired by endemic prison overcrowding, difficult working conditions and very low salaries: 1700 euros at the start of their career and 2200 euros at the end of their career (with 200 euros bonus). Eric Dupond-Moretti announces recruitment of magistrates and clerks, this will inevitably generate new incarcerations. The detainees, where should we put them with which supervisors? The minister put the cart before the horse. At the same time, we must create more prison places and recruit more staff. They make announcements and nothing is concretely put in place,” believes the trade unionist who recognizes difficulties regarding recruitment.

"The profession is not attractive, the salaries are low and the working conditions are difficult. There are many burnt-out colleagues who have a hard time with their job (insults, overwork, assures Mr. Reigh.) This is thanks to the solidarity between colleagues, but for some , it's sometimes very hard, there is a very heavy workload and sometimes suffering at work which is palpable. Sometimes we don't stop running, particularly to allow the prisoners to carry out We find it very good that the detainees carry out activities but without the means to carry them out, how do you expect us to do ? Take care of the detainees, but we don't have the means to carry them out? does not have the staff to take care of it, notes David Dehaye who through the movement of this Tuesday wanted to challenge the judicial institution on the situation of the house Nîmes judgment and more broadly on a regional level through the slowing down or even blocking of the extraction of detainees to the courts.

"It’is assembly line work […] We no longer manage humans"

The union is therefore also demanding means to enable working in better conditions for the guards but also for the prisoners, it was specified. "It feels like cheap labor. We work as if we were working in a factory, it’s assembly line work. We no longer manage humans, regrets David Dehaye. "It’s true that it’s work is dehumanized", adds Mr. Reigh.

"Challenge the judicial institution"

"We wanted to block the extractions and challenge the judicial institution to confront them with our difficulties. It is the magistrates who incarcerate and in certain cases, they are disconnected from the reality on the ground from a structural point of view and the conditions of incarceration. Sometimes, we are asked to prevent the communication of three detainees who have just been incarcerated while we are forced by lack of places in the arrivals section and we have to place them in the same passageway, they can communicate at through the windows. They are physically separated but on the same floor and the same passageway,” laments a trade unionist this Tuesday morning. She adds that the Nîmes context is really difficult with sometimes very harsh detention conditions linked in particular to the dilapidation of the prison with humidity, mold, sometimes bedbugs, mosquitoes in summer and sometimes oppressive heat in summer with temperatures approaching 50 degrees in the cells.

Hope with a new building under construction


If the discontent of the unions was visible this Tuesday morning, the crane installed in the prison courtyard shows the progress of work on a new wing built on the site of the prison house. rsquo;stop. It should be able to accommodate 130 detainees, the guards said on the sidelines of their movement. "But our fear is that this new building will immediately accommodate double the number of detainees with the installation of bunk beds while the initial project was to create cells individual. Our fear is also having to manage double the number of prisoners with a theoretical staff of 40 guards. The work is due to be completed in 2025. Afterwards, there is perhaps hope with the creation of a second remand center, notes the supervisor.

This Tuesday morning the correctional hearing for immediate appearances was greatly disrupted by the blocking of prisoner transfers. Only one defendant, escorted by the gendarmes after being taken into police custody, was able to be tried at 10:30 a.m. President Jean-Michel Perez mentioned that examining the files without the defendants was an insurmountable circumstance and made it possible to withhold the files in certain cases. Me Laurence Aguilar, the lawyer of a defendant, pleaded the case in the absence of his client but only on the detention part because the merits of the case should be discussed later. I subscribe to read more

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