Malta’s prison is now firmly under the microscope. A 30-year-old man has died after falling unconscious within Corradino’s walls. However, with four other deaths since the start of 2018, it appears that the issue is being ignored by authorities.
A look at past cases, one common theme emerges. Reports often go unfollowed, with the causes of death, and the gaps allowing inmates to take their own life, going on unexplained and unaddressed.
A new prison director, Colonel Alexander Dalli, pledged to clamp down on issues inside the prison, even restricting visitation rights and conjugal visits.
He even proclaimed that drugs in prison have been “eradicated”, even though there were at least 14 drug finds in Malta’s prison so far this year.
Despite Dalli’s endeavour, four inmates have died under his tenure. The latest casualty cannot go unnoticed, authorities must act not to let Malta’s prison become its cemetery.
Here’s a look back at the five inmates who lost their lives:
1. Sunday 27th October 2019
Correctional officers discovered a 30-year old prisoner unconscious in his cell on 26th October. First aid was quickly administered, with staff rushing the man to the hospital.
The man, a resident of Żabbar, died a day later.
His cause of death is as yet unknown. An internal investigation and a magisterial inquiry are ongoing.
2. Wednesday 13th March 2019
A 39-year-old man who was sectioned in Division 2 reportedly took his own life using a blanket.
He was discovered by prison wardens at around 5:15 pm.
The man was facing charges related to attempted murder and domestic violence and had previously served sentences inside the prison, once for attempted murder.
In March 2018, he allegedly tried to attack the same woman he had previously attacked using acid in Marsa.
3. Wednesday 26th December 2018
A male prisoner died shortly after complaining about feeling ill. The man reportedly said he was feeling sick and asked for pills to ease the pain. Just a few minutes later, he was found unconscious in his cell.
Correctional officers administered first aid to the man before calling for an ambulance and rushing him to Mater Dei. However, he was shortly declared dead afterwards.
The cause of death was not revealed. However, a magisterial inquiry, a police investigation as well as an internal investigation, were opened.
4. Tuesday 11th December 2018
Three weeks prior, a young man was dead on the very first day of his sentence. He had been sentenced to serve six in prison after being accused of rape.
It is believed that the 26-year-old man took his own life.
5. Thursday 7th June 2018
A lifeless 35-year-old prisoner was discovered on the morning of 7th June. In a brief statement, the police said he was found in his cell at around 7:45 am with no signs of violence on his body.
The cause of death was not revealed at the time, with a magisterial inquiry into his death opened.