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Governor of French prison visits Victoria Road jail 27 September 2007

THE GOVERNOR of Europe’s largest jail visited the Isle of Man Prison at Victoria Road, Douglas, at this weekend, during a holiday on the Island.

French Governor visits IoM PrisonIsabelle Goudin, Governor of De Fleury-Mérogis Prison in Paris, is responsible for 4,000 prisoners and 1,500 staff.

She and her sister Claire Goudin, a French teacher on the Island, toured the Island’s Victorian jail with Deputy Governor Colin Ring on Saturday.

Mr Ring explained:

‘Isabelle doesn’t speak English so her sister both arranged the visit and accompanied her in order to translate. She was very impressed at the friendliness between the Island’s prisoners and prison staff, which just isn’t possible in such a large prison as she manages.
‘It was very interesting for me to find that we both face the same problems with drugs and mobile phones smuggling, despite the Isle of Man prison currently holding 84 prisoners, compared with around 4,000 in Paris.’

De Fleury-Mérogis Prison is located in the southern suburbs of the French capital and, like the Isle of Man Prison, hosts a mixture of males, females and young prisoners.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘I am pleased Deputy Governor Ring was able to accommodate the visiting French Governor as sharing experiences can be mutually beneficial. There are similarities between the Island’s relatively small prison and Europe’s largest, as the two Governors were able to establish, and an invitation has been extended to the French Governor to visit the Island’s new prison at Jurby when it is operational next year.’

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