PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron has ordered an overhaul of France's overcrowded penitentiary system, as prison staff burned tires and set barricades in protests over violent working conditions.

Long-running complaints by prison guards erupted into protests Monday at prisons around France, after a knife-wielding inmate reportedly tried to attack several people last week at the high-security Vendin-le-Vieil prison in northern France.

The director of Vendin-le-Vieil reportedly submitted his resignation Monday under pressure from prison staff, who accuse him of not doing enough to prevent such violence.

Macron said Monday he ordered his government to come up with a "global penitentiary plan" by the end of February that would modernize facilities and prison intelligence-gathering. He also suggested a "massive" shift to alternative punishment such as obligatory public service or electronic bracelets.