RISING CRIME RATE PUTTING PRESSURE ON PRISON SERVICEMAJORCA needs more criminal detention facilities with the old Palma prison highly unsuitable as an open prison for third degree offenders. PSOE socialist party congresswomen Teresa Riera and Mercedes Gallizo visited Palma's two prisons yesterday and announced that, at the next session of the parliamentary justice commission in Madrid, they will propose a new open prison is built in Majorca. Despite Palma's new prison being under five years old, the old crumbling penitentiary is still being used as an open prison for weekend prisoners and third degree offenders, but Riera, socialist congress woman for the Balearics, said after visiting the prison yesterday, that the facilities are clearly inadequate and that Majorca should take advantage of central government's new programme to construct more social correction centres. Apparently a small one is to built in Minorca and Riera believes that Majorca needs one as well, albeit larger. It is going to be pointless sending third degree prisoners to Minorca for the weekend, when the reason the centre is being built on the island is to bring an end to minor offenders being brought to Majorca because of the lack of facilities in Minorca, she said. Riera believes that a new centre should be built on the site of the old prison, making use of the facilities already in operation. There has been growing concern over the crime rate in the Balearics, which last year rose dramatically. Despite the launch of a new National Police Focus plan at the start of last year it has nearly doubled, and has highlighted the deficiencies and lack of facilities in the prison service. One central prison in Palma is no longer sufficient. It currently holds 1.041 inmates, and Riera stressed the need for Ibiza's ageing prison to be reformed along with a general shake up in the Balearic prison service.
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