Life of the institute and relationship with the operators
The first Prisoner hours
The objective of this guide is to make you understand what is happening to you, how to exercise the rights that have been recognized and know the rules that you are kept to respect. You have already passed through the Office Matriculates, where you have been searched; the imprints, the photos and the registry data have been taken of you.
In the Office Matriculates they ask you even if you have problems of cohabitation with the other prisoners and, if so, present this problem now for your own safety.
All money and valuables have been removed from you (rings, chains, etc.), the watch, the belt and the other objects that need to be controlled: you can subsequently request, through a questionnaire in writing addressed to the Governor for the restitution of the belt, of the watch (the value of such should not exceed 155 Euro).
Youíre visited by the doctor that asks you, among other things, if you are a drug addict: what you declare is important, because the type of treatment submitted will depend upon this.
At the end of the operations connected to the entry, you will be accompanied to your room.
The agent will give you a form, in which the conditions of the room are described. Before signing it, carefully control that all the objects are in the conditions described and, should there be something broken, request that it be written on the form, as possible damages found out later or during the term of your permanence, will be at your own expense.
If youíre found in regime of solitary confinement (isolamento) it is because the judge has prepared it, and you will be isolated up to when the disposition wonít be revoked. You have been informed of your right to warn the family ones (or other people) that you are found in the jail. You can do this through a telegram or through a letter. The postal expenses are in your name but, if you donít have any money, the administration makes load of the consignment of the letter (in an open envelope), or of the telegram. In the telegram you can only give news of your entry into the institute from freedom or for transfer from another jail. You can request, through a "domandina", what is necessary (postage stamp and paper) for the letter or the forwarding of the telegram at the expenses of the administration. You must remember to specify that you request this because you are without any money.
If you donít have a defender you can name him: request to go to the Office Matriculates, where you can find the Lawyersí Bar of the district. (Your letter or the telegram in the above mentioned paragraph can also be sent to the named defender).
If you are a foreigner you can request that the Embassy or the Consulate of your country be informed of your arrest: this will be carried out at the Office Matriculates.
The Regulations or Rules of behaviour
Prison life is regulated by: Penitentiary Law (Ordinamento Penitenziario, O.P.), the Regulations containing norms relating to the prison system and to measures depriving and limiting personal freedom, the internal Regulations of the jail.
The order and discipline are conditions to carry out the foreseen re-educational treatment, therefore the jail is a place where there are precise rules: knowing and respecting them also helps not to make your situation worse. The Penitentiary Law foresees that:
All the infringements of the rules involve a sanction, that can be:
Incorrect behaviour can cause the loss of anticipated discount of sentence, which is foreseen for persons of good behaviour (it is called early release of the prisoner (liberazione anticipata) and it is of 45 days for every 6 months).
Therefore, in order not to have unpleasant consequences you must avoid incorrect behaviour, which are foreseen in the Rules of Execution:
The Personnel of the Institute
Refer to Agents (and to the other penitentiary operators) using the "Lei" (third person); they in return must answer in the same way and call you by your surname. According to rules you may not know the names of the personnel of Penitentiary Police, therefore you must call them by the grades which they have:
Other than the personnel of Penitentiary Police, in the institute, there are other operators:
You can request an interview with them by a written application (domandina/form) to the Direction.
The Penitentiary Law (Ordinamento Penitenziario) also guarantees you the possibility to come into contact with the Supervisory Magistrate (Magistrato di Sorvaglianza) and with the Regional Director of Prisons of the Administration Department for Prison (Provveditore Regionale delle Carceri del Dipartimento dellíAmministrazione Penitenziaria Ė D.A.P.) you can request to be personally heard by them, or you can send them questions and written claims. If you donít have the necessary things to write, the Administration is held to furnish it to you. You can also send a letter in a closed envelope: on the envelope write clearly to whom you send it and, on the back, your name.
The applications (istanze) of transfer to another jail have to be applied for, through the Institute:
The conversations, the phone calls and the mail
You are allowed six visual conversations a month, for the duration of an hour each, with the members of your family or your cohabitants. In particular cases (for which one must specify the motives, in a special request addressed to the Governor) conversations also can be allowed with other people. The conversations can also last more than a hour: if you donít often make them, or if your relatives come from far, you can request to gather together the hours, foreseen monthly, in single conversation.
Until you are defendant, the authorization to the conversations is granted by the judge that proceeds; after the first degree trial, you are granted by the Governor of the jail.
Once a week you can be authorized to phone your relatives and cohabitants, always after having gotten the necessary authorization, that must be requested:
(The request must always be made to the Direction of the Institute, that will then transmit it to whom of competence ).
Even if you come from another jail, where youíve already phoned your family, you have to request the authorization in order to carry out the phone calls in this Institute and you will have to wait a few days before receiving it. Once you receive this authorization, you can request through a "domandina" (application form) to make the phone call specifying the day and the time when you would prefer to make it. You must also point out in the "domandina" what language you will use during the phone call, if it is not the Italian language.
The convicts of crimes foreseen by the first period of the first paragraph of the art. 4bis Penitentiary Law (O.P. - Ordinamento Penitenziario) only have the right to have four conversations and two phone calls every month. In these cases, if they have the necessity to make more conversations, they can ask the Governor of the Institute to grant them, specifying clearly the motives for their application (for example to favour the maintenance of the relationships with the family).
You can receive, at the very most, four packages a month, brought by the people admitted to the conversations or received by mail, containing groceries, clothing and personal bed sheets, for a general weight of 20 Kgs. Bear in mind that each postal packet, containing any object (different from the didactic material), will be counted as a package.
You can receive books (not with rigid cover), magazines and other didactic material also in excess to the anticipated weight. Stuffed suits and shoes would be able not to be delivered to you, because of a difficult control, or because its not allowed.
You can forward on and receive mail without any limits. On the letters you must always write your full name. The Judge can submit the correspondence to censorship; in this case, you will be warned beforehand and the incoming and outgoing will be censored. (If you are submitted to censorship, mail the envelope without gluing it).
The expense and the purchase
In the Office Matriculates they have withdrawn all your money: you will soon receive a deposit account "book" (libretto di conto corrente) on which the amount you have at your disposal is written and you will be adjourned with all the pay-in and pay-out balances. Money can be received through postal money orders or through a deposit at the gatehouse. It is forbidden to receive money through your mail.
Besides the three meals that are furnished by the Administration, you can purchase other groceries and cook them (provided that they are easy cooking) with a camping gas cooking stove, also on sale at the internal store "sopravvitto". The prisoners of Islamic religion can request, through a special "domandina", to receive "Moslem food". You can purchase all the products (alimentary, cleansers, paper, cigarettes, etc.) that are specified on a list which is available in every section. If you want other products, not inclusive in this list, you can purchase them through a "domandina/form", but only if there are particular reasons it can be allowed.
You can spend, at the most, 424 Euro a month, 106 Euro a week, purchasing all the products you need, enclosed in the list of the expense (through the "domandina/form"); sending telegrams and carrying out the phone calls you are allowed to do.
The "domandina"(a printed form for applications)
The domandina is a form you need to make requests to the Direction:
You can request these forms to the agent at the section. Besides this application form (domandina), there are other forms available, with which you can request:
The "domandina" must be mailed in the letter-box for mail, the other application forms must be handed over to the Office Matriculates. If you need to go to the Office Matriculates you must book giving your surname to the agent of the section.
lf you want to communicate with the Governor or with the Commander, about requests or particular problems, you can do it by sending him a letter in a closed envelope (that must not be stamped).
The schools, the professional formation, the cultural and sporting activities
In Institute, professional formation courses are organized but there are also different cultural and sporting activities . These are an important part of the "course" that the operators observe, therefore if you are admitted to participate to one of this, you should correctly apply yourself.
These activities can also facilitate you to better learn the Italian language and they will make you learn information and techniques that will be very useful to you when you will return free: from the use of personal computers, to professional competences of different types. If the courses are carried out correctly till the end, you can achieve certificates or scholastic diplomas and establish relationships with external operators, all these opportunities will make you easier could help you to find a job. If you want to request to be enrolled on these courses and on other activities you shall write a "domandina", but bear in mind that a selection will be carried out (the places available are usually inferior to the applications) and that you could also remain excluded. To participate to these courses or other activities helps to win the monotony of incarceration, it allows you to know new people and to learn useful things. Therefore be careful for notices, that you will find on the door of the saletta: when they concern an activity that interests you, write a "domandina/form: "I ask to participate to the course of Ö"
Social Service Centres for Adults (C.S.S.A.)
It is an office of the Penitentiary Administration out of the Institute, formed by social assistants, a head of social service, and the administrative staff of the penitentiary police. The task of this service concerns the activity inside the penitentiary institute and the activity in the territory. The C.S.S.A. (Social Service Centres for Adults), in fact, plays an important role for the prisoners and for the persons exposed to an alternative measure to the detention, the role of link and stimulus, making contact with the social environment (family, work, services) referred to.
Inside the penitentiary institutes
In the territory
As to the alternative measures to the detention
The Service for drug addition (Ser.T.)
The Ser.T. is concerned with every person who declares to be a drug addict who takes toxic substances or alcohol. It is not absolutely necessary to have a residence or being under treatment in a Ser.T. If you make use of toxic substances or alcohol, you can tell the doctor who visits you the first time or as soon as you wish, and the Ser.T. will be informed. If you are under treatment in a Ser.T., you can say it and you will be guaranteed the continuity of your treatment. If you have never been to a Ser. T., after a quick exam, you will be treated with the more suitable therapy according to your needs. If you need to contact the Ser.T., you can make a request to the jail doctor.
What can you ask the Ser.T.?
Under-treatment Alcoholics Association Club (A.C.A.T.)
It is a voluntary association that works in jail, with the activation of Under-treatment Alcoholics Club (C.A.T.) inside the institute. The C.A.T. work according to the ecological-social approach (Hudolin method) and they help the person to face the problems related to the use of alcohol through comparison, in a group context where they can express solidarity and friendship. Reaching abstinence permits to work on the change of life style and face their own future on project terms. In each C.A.T. there is a server-teacher. The meeting take place once a week, for an hour and a half.
To participate in the C.A.T. you only have to ask it through a "domandina" (form), and afterwards, there would be an assessment interview, according to its results, you will be given the following indications. Who is conscious of having problems related to the use of alcoholic drinks and is willing to face them, can talk about it with a voluntary or the educators, or with the psychologist, and you will receive the necessary information.
The health protection in jail
In jail, the reduced spaces and the forced cohabitation can have some risks on your health. If you observe these suggestions of behaviour your health will be more protected.
General rules for a life in jail as healthy as possible
The importance of hygiene
The rules for the cleaning
By rule you must take care of your own hygiene and of the cell you are in. Showering is allowed daily and especially it is foreseen upon re-entry from the gym, the sporting field, from school or from the job
Relations with the sanitary service
Upon entry into the jail you are submitted to various examinations and the physician asks you even if you want to make the H.I.V. test: in order to defend your health it is better to accept.
The doctor asks you even if you are an addict or alcoholic; if you are, declare it: you will receive the assistance from the Ser.T. staff or from the "Centro Alcologico". If you have not declared this condition upon entry do it as soon as possible (signalling yourself to a medical visit ), in order to receive proper care of your case.
Information about health is confidential and the doctors are held to secrecy: if you have any illness talk to them without any fear.
The penitentiary sanitary service doesnít only furnish medicines but also specialized visits (dentist, oculist, cardiologist, etc.) clinic examinations, care at the Clinic Centres: should you be in need, make a request for them and you will obtain such performances.
In order to obtain a visit by the penitentiary physician book it the evening before, giving your surname to the agent at the section: you will see the doctor the following day. If you have a sudden indisposition, inform the agent at the section (he will immediately call the doctor): you will obtain a visit urgently.
The nurse cannot modify the prescribed therapy, therefore, if you have any problem concerning this, you must book yourself for the medical visit and present this problem to the doctor.
Therapy must be taken immediately when it is handed over by the nurse: it is forbidden to accumulate medicines (even the daily administered dose) and give them to other prisoners.
You can also be visited by an external doctor at your own expenses: you must request it from the Governor who will authorize this entry, specifying the motive for this visit.