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Haiti - Prisons : National Penitentiary, 0.5 m2 per inmate!
06/09/2010 14:04:34

Haiti - Prisons : National Penitentiary, 0.5 m2 per inmate!
The correctional unit of MINUSTAH, headed by Danielle Boisvert [in post since June 1st, 2010] is currently composed of 32 penitentiary matter experts from eight different countries, as well as 4 national staff and 2 managers, fully committed to support and sustain the leaders of the Direction de l’Administration Pénitentiaire (DAP) in their efforts to meet their mandate and the needs of the people under their charge.

The three priority of this unit are:

  • Provide technical support to the DAP's efforts to find practical solutions to the problem of overcrowding in Haiti.
  • Provide technical support and expert support to the DAP in the management of programs affecting the well-being of inmates under his charge.
  • To support the DAP in the development of a framework of policies and modern and effective practices with the management of a national penitentiary system.

    Danielle Boisvert, who spoke at the last briefing MINUSTAH said "based on data supplied by the members of my team who works every day of the week in Haiti's prisons, here would be 4.891 prisoners in Haiti, including 1.599 condemned and 3.292 defendants. These prisoners normally and according to the international standards should enjoy a minimum of 4.5 m2 of space of detention. In Haiti, this is not the case so far. On average, each prisoner has access to less than 1 m2 and in certain prisons such as the National Penitentiary, they have less than 0.5 m2. In less than one half-m2 a person cannot sleep wide nor even squatted. [...] In this moment, Minustah like several partners concerned with this degrading situation, initiated several projects of repair in order to bring a certain relief to the suffering of the men, women and children of Haiti, deprived of their freedom and their human dignity.

    Among these projects, I would cite the work of the UK who overhauled Prison Civil Arcahaie, and rehabilitation center for children in conflict with the law of Delmas 33. It is the work of the prison Croix des Bouquets, funded by Canada that will receive approximately 750 inmates and the major rehabilitation of the civil prison of St. Marc funded by Norway in connection with the United Nations Program for Development Programme (UNDP) which will total approximately $ 800,000. And finally, a multi-project is realized in the civil prison of Port-au-Prince, which includes support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and refit two blocks of detention : the team Reduction communal violence in which MINUSTAH is working on a block of detention and a cultural space and then the UNDP which secures the perimeter wall and guard towers. The units of Corrections and the rule of law, UNPOL and FPU and military contingents particularly the Japanese, and representatives from DAP all took part in the rehabilitation of the prison, in close partnership with the DPA in order to add enough space for 700 inmates to relieve a little problem.

    It is hoped that the vast majority of these projects will be completed by mid-December. However, some projects such as those of Great Britain has already suffered delays due to lack of manpower [?] And building materials. The opening of these sites, previously planned for late July, is now postponed to October. Similarly, for the prison Croix-des-Bouquet is now scheduled to receive its first inmates in December.

    Until the construction projects are completed, the correction unit of MINUSTAH continues to work closely with the DAP, Jean Roland Celestin and all its partners to meet the urgent needs of inmates. We also appreciate the cooperation we receive from the Minister of Justice that we keep the door open and is ready to discuss with us on prison issues. Together we seek to meet the rights of persons deprived of their freedom at all levels of the criminal justice system and not only by expanding the space of confinement "

    S / HaïtiLibre

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