Official postpones jail terms because of French prison overcrowding
In the northern French town of Dunkirk, the public prosecutor is refusing to send convicted criminals to jail because the local prison is overcrowded.
French prisons are 8,000 places short of what they need to accommodate the penal system’s 64,000 inmates.
Dunkirk’s public prosecutor, Philippe Muller, says he doesn't want to see inmates sleeping on the floor inside the local prison.
The local jail houses 150 inmates but was was built to accommodate only 100. So Muller has decided to delay the sentences of those sentenced to jail.
That means letting them go free until there is room in the prison.
However this does not mean all criminals can go free. People condemned for serious offences will still go straight to jail.
Muller says his decision reduces violence and improves relations between inmates and wardens.