Woman escapes from Tires prison and prison guards warn about safety

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A 41-year-old woman escaped from Tires prison today, a case that the National Union of Prison Guard Corps says shows the “fragility of security” in Portuguese prisons.

The Directorate-General for Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP) told Lusa that the inmate escaped “late this morning” from the “admission area, where she had entered on March 8”.

“This is a prisoner who re-entered the prison system because her parole had been revoked, and is now serving the remaining two years and 11 months of a nine-year sentence for the crimes of theft, aggravated assault and forgery of documents,” the same source said.

The prison services have already notified “the competent criminal police bodies and are working towards his recapture”.

At the same time, “a process of investigation has been opened by the Audit and Inspection Service” to “ascertain the circumstances in which the incident took place”, says the DGRSP.

According to a prison source, the inmate took advantage of a trip to the courtyard to escape, using a chair to jump over the fence and get out to a place in the complex where the authorities have seized property.

Frederico Morais, leader of the National Union of Prison Guard Corps (SNCGP), believes that this escape shows the “fragility of security” in Portuguese prisons, with few guards and inadequate resources.

“The union has been warning about the insecurity of prisons and this has happened,” said Frederico Morais, considering that “security is at stake” due to the lack of resources to monitor detainees.

He pointed out that the planned closure of the Lisbon Prison (EPL) and the transfer of some of the inmates to Tires would increase the risks, because this complex, currently for women, has less capacity to control the prison population.

“What happened today would happen more often with a more male and more violent prison population,” he warned.

At the beginning of the month, the unions representing prison staff warned that by the end of this year, Portugal will have 36% fewer guards on its staff, which is undersized for the current number of inmates.

At a joint press conference held by the unions representing prison managers and guards, the unions warned of staff shortages, called for a mission allowance similar to the one given to the Judicial Police and warned of the risk of “a tragedy” in Portuguese prisons.

According to the SNCGP, the staffing level, designed for a population of 10,000 inmates, 3,000 less than what exists, is 4,977 and there are only 3,885 active guards, a number that will be reduced by seven hundred due to retirements planned by the end of the year.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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