Malta’s approach to supplying cooling units to people held in detention has been broken down, with key focus given to what risks giving items like fans to detainees could cause.
With hundreds of people serving time in Malta’s prison, Corradino Correctional Facility, and thousands more waiting to be processed or find a better future within a number of both open and close migrant centres around the island, access to technology that can help cool them down is critical for some.
In the past, the island has even seen scenarios where prisoners suffering from kidney disease were left without a fan in the peak of summer’s heat – even if their health condition disallows them from drinking water, further exacerbating things.
However, authorities’ approach to the different types of detainees is based on previous experiences.
“The Corradino Correctional Facility is equipped with fans in prison cells, dormitories and common areas.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, a Home Affairs spokesperson explained that all cells are equipped with fans. Updates in recent months and years saw some areas, such as Division 6, which did not have cooling units installed, have now been upgraded.
And new provision regarding ill patients have also been rolled out.
“If a prisoner suffers from certain health conditions that require a cooling unit, this request is analysed by the CSA’s medical team and based on its outcome, the necessary provisions are made,” they said.
“With reference to migrant centres, fans are provided in all common areas.”
However, migrants’ rooms are not fitted with any cooling unit, nor are fans given to individuals – though they are allowed to buy a fan themselves and bring it in.
“Residents of open centres may set up their own fans or other cooling units in their own rooms or cabins,” the spokesperson said. “Appliances used inside the centres must be in line with safety protocols to avoid potential safety hazards.”
Watch Lovin Malta’s exclusive look into Malta’s prison and an interview with prison director Alex Dalli.
A lot has been said about the major changes that swept through Corradino Correctional Facilities since Col. Alexander Dalli took over two years ago… for better or for worse. Lovin Malta sat down with Dalli for an exclusive video interview from his office in Kordin to find out more about his regimented vision for Malta’s prisoners and his strict approach to punishment and rehabilitation.
Posted by Lovin Malta on Saturday, September 5, 2020
The precautions come after a number of incidents were migrants had allegedly broken fans as part of protests, with some cases seeing the wiring of fans being extracted to use otherwise.
Due to this, migrants in open centres – who are able to leave the centre – are not automatically given fans.
A debate over how Malta cools its inmates and detainees in the blazing summer heat comes as some of the island’s centres find themselves filled with people; and it is no secret that Malta’s prison is overpopulated as well.
With some of these people already suffering from previous trauma or worse, being placed in a hot room day in and day out can be the thing that pushes some over the edge… something Malta authorities should be keen to avoid.
Do you think all detainees in Malta should be given a fan during the summer months?