Ten Britons are among the 154 foreign prisoners in Palma jail, which currently has 980 inmates. There has been a spectacular increase in the number of foreigners in jail compared to last year, when figures ranged between 80 and 100. Fifty of the foreigners are from Africa (19 Moroccans, 14 Nigerians and 11 Algerians). The next biggest groups are the British, ten, and Germans, also ten, followed by Colombians (nine) and Argentines (six). Although foreign prisoners are in the minority, the prison authorities have adopted a series of measures. On entering jail, prisoners are divided into two groups: those who have been sentenced, or those who are being held in custody pending trial. Other factors are then taken into account and if it is possible, the newcomer is put in a module with other prisoners of his nationality. If he speaks a minority language and does not understand Spanish, an effort is made to put him in a module with another prisoner who speaks his language and also speaks or understands Spanish. Some changes have also been introduced into the menus, and Moslim prisoners are not served pork. So far, the wide range of races and cultures in the jail on the Soller road has not generated any problems. However, the number of foreign prisoners is expected to rise, reflecting the changes in society, and the increasing number of immigrants. The new jail was opened in summer 1999 after a series of delays. It is close to the site of the old jail, which suffered from overcrowding. The new building has been described as one of the most modern in Spain divided into modules, and most of the cells are for one person only. Facilities include a sports area with squash courts, gym, swimming pool, and soccer pitch. The new jail cost more than 8'000 million pesetas to build and equip.

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