27 Sep 2012

French government team to look at state of New Caleldonia jail

4:25 pm on 27 September 2012

A French Ministry of Justice delegation, directed to assess how to improve conditions at the the prison in Noumea, arrives in New Caledonia tomorrow.

This comes after repeated cases of prison unrest at a jail notorious for its overcrowding and filth.

Last year, Paris announced plans to extend the jail but the city of Noumea has refused to issue a building permit.

State Councillor Mireille Imbert-Quaretta and a team of officials is to report back to the minister, Christiane Taubira, by the 15th of November.

Mrs Taubira announced last month she was considering sending the mission to the prison after staff there had rebelled.

She says the mission would not only focus on the prison issue but will also look into how the judiciary functions in New Caledonia.

Mrs Taubira says the mission intends preparing a building programme for 80 additional places at the prison by 2014.