IN TOTAL, two hundred prisoners have been accepted at the new women’s prison in Santa Cruz do Bispo, in the north of Portugal.
This is the fifth prison for women in Portugal and construction was completed six months ago; however, a date for the official inauguration is yet to be announced. Reasons given for the delay in opening the new detention centre include a lack of prison guards – a further 80 guards are to be contracted shortly.
According to information from the Direcção-Geral dos Serviços Prisionais (DGSP), “the first 200 prisoners to be transferred to the new unit are all from the north of Portugal and had previously been held at the Castelo Branco prison. More inmates will soon be transferred from Felgueiras prison”.
The opening of this new prison marks the start of a new management and operational approach. Prisoners will be given access to health services, a canteen and restaurant, education and training. Meanwhile, the DGSP will ensure adequate security is in place, as well as close liaison with the courts.