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New Italy law cutting prison time criticized as some ex-cons return to crime

[JURIST] A controversial new clemency law [JURIST report] in Italy [JURIST news archive] reducing some prison sentences by three years to cut down on jail overcrowding is facing criticism after some released prisoners returned to lives of crime this week. One man, who had been convicted of domestic abuse, allegedly attempted to murder his ex-wife after his release, while another tried to rob a restaurant. The legislation [Reuters report] excluded those convicted of certain crimes, including terrorism offenses, pedophilia, rape, or mob activities, but nonetheless the release of nearly 12,000 inmates. Advocates for prisoner rights contend that the freed prisoners are hard-pressed to find places of employment or residence after their release, making a return to crime a real possibility.

Police are closely watching approximately 20 released individuals who were suspected of having links to terrorist organizations but were jailed for other offenses. Italian prisons are able to accommodate 42,500 inmates, but actually held 61,000 prior to the recent wave of releases. AP has more.

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