4 Jan 2010

New Caledonia prison escapes prompt French review

2:27 pm on 4 January 2010

The French justice minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, has asked the Prisons Administration to study a possible restructuring of New Caledonia's prison.

This comes after a spate of escapes which according to the corrections staff union has turned the Noumea prison into the French-run jail with the highest rate of escapes.

The jail has also been singled out by the International Observatory for Prisons which has said the Camp Est is a reflection of the worst in terms of detention.

The review is reportedly looking at doubling the size of the prison which was built for fewer than 200 inmates but which now holds more than 400.