Poggioreale Facility


The Poggioreale Prison houses all prisoners awaiting judgment, but because of overcrowding,  there are some convicts who have already been  sentenced.

Although the Prison was built in 1912 to house almost 1,100 prisoners,. there are almost always 2,500.  It's very easy to understand how difficult it can be living there. In one jail cell one can find 15-20 prisoners. 

Many of them have contracted dangerous diseases like: AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis etc.  Moreover,  AIDS  testing is not mandatory.

The prisoners spend their day in their jail cells most of the time.  They eat, watch television, sleep, read, and write in jail. The toilet is located in the jail cell as well. They can take a shower only twice a week in a special area.

The convicts have two hours of open air every day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Once in week they can meet their family and if their behavior is good there is an additional monthly meeting . 

Poggioreale Jail' s Director:  Dott. Salvatore Acerra put it very simple:

"I believe that the problem of Poggioreale Jail is just the same of the city and the entire Campania district: Unemployment!  If we want to solve the problem of recidivism it's necessary to implement formation and work activities in prison, so that it'll be easier for the inmate, once he's out of prison, to find a job. The main part of the prison population is made up, despite what public opinion could think, of people who want to work, who want to join the society as good citizens. that's why we need that entrepreneurs and training operators get in the prison and became aware of the inmates' skills in order to give them a job once they get out."

There are Sisters helping the prisoners: Sister Lidia, Sister Itala and Sister Maria are the most loved by the convicts. Sisters of Charity of Madre Teresa of Calcutta are also ministering in.

Some of the catholic groups working inside the facility are;

Neocathecumenal.  They meet the convicts who invite them to convert themselves to God and to believe in God's love. 

There are catholic organizations that work both inside and outside the facility.  They are:

L'Opera don Calabria and the house of S. Maria al Trionfo;

Carcere Vivo group and the Tenda Center that takes care of the drug-addicts. 

There are a lot of volunteers who visit the prisoners to help them.