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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 3) - The USTKE union in New Caledonia has criticized the conditions and management of the Noumea Prison.

A union leader says 320 inmates are being held in a facility built to house only 180, with cases of 5 prisoners sharing a nine-square-meter cell in searing summer heat.

He says minors are being held with other inmates in a complex built more than a century ago.

The union also says 90 percent of inmates are Kanaks but the jail is run from Paris while few of the wardens are drawn from the indigenous population.

A new jail is to be built in New Caledonia but its site and its funding are yet to be decided.

March 4, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com


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