A prison officer was attacked with a knife by an inmate at the Val-de-Reuil detention center (Eure) on Friday September 15, 2023. The FO union is demanding the transfer of the inmate to a more suitable structure and denounces the lack of staff.
Friday September 15, 2023 in the morning. Val-de-Reuil detention center, Eure. An inmate calls his floor supervisor. He tells her that his telephone box no longer works. The prison officer asks the inmate to leave his cell, enters, grabs the handset and realizes that it is working.
“The inmate came up behind him and then tried to stab him in the back of the head.“, says Benjamin Gauthier, FO Justice unionist and supervisor in Val-de-Reuil, confirming information from Paris Normandy.
The prison officer, aged around twenty, managed to ward off the blow. A “violent fight“erupts between the two men. The guard falls on the bed. The inmate stands”above him” And “tries to stab him twenty times“.
At some point he finds himself “with the knife to the throat“but succeeds”miraculously” to ward off all blows. His colleagues then arrive in the cell and manage to control the inmate, who is sent directly to the disciplinary unit.
The attacked supervisor finally escapes with “a nice scratch on the wrist and some bruises“, specifies Benjamin Gauthier. After a visit to the hospital, he was interviewed by the Rouen judicial police and filed a complaint.
The inmate, for his part, had just come out of solitary confinement and was “in the observation phase“. He would present “a big psychological profile“and would have”completed several stays in a psychiatric hospital“, according to the FO trade unionist.
“We are requesting the rapid transfer of this inmate so that we no longer have to manage him. We want him to be transferred, at best to a psychiatric hospital, at least to another establishment. And stop sending us psychologist profiles galore“, summarizes Benjamin Gauthier.
“There are structures more suited to this profile. We receive people in reintegration“, he adds.
The Val-de-Reuil detention center is 99.9% full according to the International Prison Observatory (OIP). And there is “major deficiencies in personL“, denounces the FO trade unionist.
“We would need a good twenty more supervisors to start filming properly“, he emphasizes, pointing to the “enormous fatigue“to which agents are currently subject.”This summer, they worked between 80 and 100 hours of overtime per month per agent“, supports Benjamin Gauthier.
According to the trade unionist, there would have been “three or four“physical attacks on guards since the beginning of August. As for the weapon with which the inmate attacked the guard on Friday, it did not come from outside.
It’s a knife that we give them in the kit when they arrive. It’s a small butter knife, a penknife that doesn’t cut, but that he sharpened to a point and filed over several days.Benjamin Gauthier, FO Justice trade unionist
An action in support of the attacked supervisor is planned for the week, the day has yet to be determined with the union organizations.
In a notice published in the Official Journal on September 14, 2023, Dominique Simmonot, the general controller of places of deprivation of liberty notes that “detention conditions are deteriorating in all their dimensions, at the same time as the working conditions of prison staff“.
She recommends “a regulatory system to combat prison overcrowding“. She denounces the fact that despite “a conviction from the European Court of Human Rights“, “no national measures have been taken” by the French State.