The Síndic aims to reinforce alternative punishment to ease prison overcrowding and facilitate rehabilitation


Catalan Ombudsman Rafael Ribó, accompanied by the Director for Public Safety and Social Relations, Ignasi Garcia Clavel, made this petition during the presentation to Parliament of his special report entitled, "Comparative Study of the European and Catalan Penitentiary Systems".

The information gathered reveals that criminal law, which is a competency of the Spanish government, could go much further in the application of alternative punishments, as many European states already offer possibilities other than fines and community service, such as mediation, compensation, victim-offender conciliation, and conditional liberty or probation.

According to the Ombudsman, the promotion of alternative measures is predicated on a more generous allocation of human and material resources, but also requires the involvement of all the administrations that must offer openings, either in their services or in private collaborating organizations, for placement of the persons serving their sentences. The generalization of alternative measures, the effectiveness of which has already been proven in other countries, would help ease overcrowding of penitentiary centres, and according to official studies, bears a price tag ten times lower than the daily cost of keeping a person in prison, which is 68 €.