The Italian government has decided to tackle the problem of overcrowding in its prisons by releasing more than 7000 detainees under supervision.
More than 4000 will be under house arrest while 3, 300 will be expelled to their countries of origin.
“Where possible, where international laws and treaties allow it, we intend to send foreign detainees convicted of less serious offences back to their countries,” said Angelino Alfano, the Italian justice minister.
“There is no reason why, as our prisons are so full, they should occupy places in our prisons.”
Those placed under house arrest will be fitted with an electronic tag to monitor their whereabouts at all times.
There are almost 56,000 in Italy’s jails, of which around 36,000 are Italian citizens and the rest foreign nationals.