Several French Prisoners Released Due to Coronavirus Already Back in Prison

A junction of the prison is pictured, on March 8, 2017 in Strasbourg, eastern France. / AFP PHOTO / PATRICK HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

While France has been releasing people from prison to reduce overcrowding over coronavirus, a number of criminals have already ended up back behind bars after committing new crimes.

To stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus in the overcrowded French prison system, President Emmanuel Macron’s government released around 8,000 inmates in just one month.

Not all of those released have managed to remain on the outside for long, however.

A 19-year-old from Ploërmel was released from prison on March 20th but ended up back in jail just over a month later. A judge handed him an 18-month sentence following a conviction for assaulting a police officer, after having drunk two to three litres of beer and one or two bottles of sparkling wine.

The teen was also accused of assaulting his brother and stealing a mobile phone and a box of rosé wine belonging to one of his neighbours.

A 38-year-old man in Lyon was released from prison on April 10th, having been previously convicted for acts of violence.

Just ten days after his release, he was involved in an argument with a supermarket security employee that required police intervention and then another altercation at a tobacco shop a short time later. During the second incident, he resisted police and spat in the face of one of the officers.

The man was tried in a Lyon court, found guilty, and sentenced to six months in prison for the assault.

Such spitting attacks, followed by claims of positive coronavirus infections, have been seen several times in France in recent weeks.

Another case occurred in the city of Saint-Étienne and saw a 49-year-old involved in a spitting attack on police in which the man told the officers he would give them HIV.

The 49-year-old had been released from prison on March 31st — one month and 17 days before the end of his prison term.

After his conviction for assaulting police, he was handed down an 18-month prison sentence plus the remainder of his previous sentence. He had also previously been fined on April 13th for breaking lockdown measures and now boasts a total of 47 convictions in his 49-year lifetime.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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