(ANSA) - Udine, August 30 - A 40-year-old inmate in the northern town of Udine committed suicide overnight Wednesday, becoming the 36th prisoner to take his own life in Italy since the start of the year. The prisoner was transferred from a Padua prison on Wednesday and was serving time for domestic violence. Ten days prior to his transfer the man was detained in the jail's psychiatric ward. Prison authorities say the man used his cellmate's belt to hang himself in his cell. Figures show that 186 people died in Italian prisons in 2011, 66 of them suicides. Italy's prison population is now at its highest level since World War II and recent estimates suggest it will continue rising unless urgent action is taken, with the number expected to climb above 100,000 this year. Overcrowding is believed to be more than partly responsible for the high number of suicides in Italian prisons compared to those in most other developed countries.