Correctional Services Malta
Director - Paul De Battista
The Corradino Correctional Facility is situated at Valletta Road Paola and is the only civil prisons in Malta. Our Motto is “Suavis Aspero” meaning Firm but Gentle. Apart from the main prisons at Paola there are other locations that are considered by law as places of custody, these are as follows:
Valletta Lock-Up below the Malta Law Courts
Forensic Unit (Mount Carmel Hospital) at Attard
Our principal goals as an institution are:
Keep prisoners in custody
Maintain order, control, discipline and a safe environment
Provide decent conditions for prisoners and meet their needs, including health needs
Provide positive regimes which help prisoners address their offending behaviour
Help prisoners prepare for their return to the community as responsible citizens
Before the commissioning of the prison was commenced, prisoners were kept in Fort St. Elmo, Fort St Angelo, Fort Ricasoli. During the Inquisition era prisoners were kept at the Palace of the Inquisitor situated at Vittoriosa. When the Knights of St. John ruled Malta, prisoners were kept in the residence of the Head of Justice in Valletta.
The building of the Civil Prisons started in the 1842. The construction plans of the prisons were designed by an English draughtsman Mr. W. Lamb Arrowsmith. Jeremy Bentham, an English criminologist started the idea that criminal people are to be kept for correction instead for punishment only. He adopted the panoptical view in building the Main Central Hall. The idea was that from a hall designed on a half-circle basis one can see everything that is happening in every division just with an eye glance. A similar prison that was designed on a panoptical scale is located in Pentonville, U.K. The original plans were to host (200) prisoners in (4) Divisions, but with the passing of the years the population started increasing and the need of more space was urgent. Other extensions of the main prisons were done on the long run, the most recent extensions were the building of a new Juvenile Division with a maximum capacity of (36) cells. This division started running in 1999. The other extension of the facility was the Remand Section where prisoners that are admitted at prisons, but not yet condemned by the Maltese Courts are kept separate from sentenced prisoners. This mentioned section started running in 2003; the new building includes a new Administration Block and 3 Divisions with a total capacity of (141) cells.
The first prison regulations were issued in 1820. Some regulations that were issued at those times were that cells to be inspected on a daily basis and all types of gambling games were prohibited in the prisons. Personal hygiene was compulsory and every prisoner had to have a bath everyday and once a week had to have a shave. The unlocking of prisoners was done at sunrise while the closing of the prisoners was done at sunset; those prisoners that had good conduct were left out till 20.00hrs. It can be said that this privilege was not granted to those who where serving a sentence of more than 10 years. Forced work was compulsory; there was time that work had to be done for 12 hours with some time for rest. In 1813 when Malta was hit by plague, prisoners were used to bury those who died with the mentioned illness. In 1993/4 the word Correctional Facility replace the word Prisons, and in 1995 a new set of prison regulations were issued replacing those that were issued in 1926.
The worst punishment that one could have was certainly the death penalty and the gallows was usually used. This originated when the Knights of St. John ruled Malta. In October 1971 the death penalty was abolished from the Maltese Laws with the Act 21, and the gallows was used on the 5th July 1943. In the era of the Knights of St. John the gallows was located on a point of the Grand Harbour known as Ricosili, and generally those that were condemned to death were found guilty of piracy and contraband. Later the death penalty was given at Rabat. When Captain Alexander Ball came to Malta and later became the Police Commissioner, the Maltese Law Courts were transferred from Imdina to Valletta and so the gallows was transferred to Floriana where today there is the War Monument. When the Corradino Prisons were built, the death penalty was given in a square in front of the prisons. In 1880 the execution started to be done in private and the burial service used to be done at Blata l-Bajda. In 1876 the cemetery of the prisons started to be used. Two brothers Carmel and Giuzeppi Zammit were the last that were hanged on the 5th July 1943. It is a fact that the last death sentence was given in 1963 to a man from Zejtun, but the Maltese Cabinet had petitioned for mercy to the Maltese Governor. The Governor accepted the Cabinet’s request by commuting the sentence.
The Director of Prisons is Mr Paul De Battista. There are (187) Correctional Officers and (18) Police Officers, for a working force totalling (205) who are posted in various departments in the prisons.
Director of Prisons
Assistant Director (Administration)
Assistant Correctional Manager
Senior Correctional Officer
Central Control Room
Special Response Team
Administration and Operations
Y.O.U.R.S. (Young Offenders Unit Rehabilitation Services)
Inmates Assessment Unit
Debtors Section/Visiting Areas
Forensic Unit (M.C.H.)
The Valletta Lock-up is situated below the Malta Law Court.
This is used as a place of custody when inmates have court and it is run by S.R.T. Officers.