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    Fresnes: prison bloquée. 5ème journée d'action des gardiens

    Two Thirds of French Prisons Blocked Off as Guard Protests Enter Second Week

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    Prison employee protests against overpopulation and violence at the country's penal institutions continue to intensify as authorities promise an "immediate" resumption of negotiations.

    130 out of France's 188 jails have been blocked as of Monday morning, Sputnik France reports, citing the FO-Penitentiaire prison union. 

    Officials from the country's prison unions called for a "total block" of all the country's prisons by 6:00 am Monday morning to ensure that the government hears their claims amid unsafe working conditions for prison guards at the country's penal institutions.

    • Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    • Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    • Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    • Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    • Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.
      © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    1 / 5
    © Sputnik / Xénia Kozlitina
    Prison guard protests at the Fleury-Mérogis prison enter their second week.

    The latest attack on guards was reported Sunday at the Longueness Prison in Pas-de-Calais, about 185 km north of Paris. Guard unions began their protests last week amid complaints of insufficient staff and resources to contain the criminal population, including highly dangerous Islamist inmates. Unions have estimated as many as 4,000 recently recorded cases of inmate violence against guards.

    A Ministry of Justice statement emphasized that that Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet was looking to meet "immediately" with union representatives Monday to resume negotiations. Union officials earlier accused authorities of neglecting workers' unsafe working conditions in a draft agreement proposed by the government over the weekend.

    This month's protests kicked off after the stabbing of three guards at the Vendin-le-Vieil high security prison in northern France on January 11 by an ex-al-Qaeda Islamist serving a sentence for his complicity in the 2002 Djerba bombing. The attack prompted hundreds of guards to stage protests outside the country's prisons against working conditions. The Vendin-le-Vieil attacks have since been followed by other cases of inmate violence, including an attack on guards at the Mont-de-Marsan prison on January 15, another attack at Borgo prison on Corsica on January 19, and the Longuenesse attack January 21.

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    prison guard, inmate, violence, France
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