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Haiti - Prisons : In the land of the great escapes...
01/11/2010 14:05:21

Haiti - Prisons : In the land of the great escapes...
During the earthquake of January, 4.215 prisoners escaped from the national penitentiary, among which, are added other escapes taking advantage of the earthquake and complicity. (8 prison officers including the former head of the Prison Les Cayes and 7 of the Departmental Unit for the Maintenance of Order (UDMO) have been isolated, for investigation because of the different cases of escapes during the earthquake).

However, escapes and riots are not all attributable to the earthquake, as examples:

Prison Civil of Arcahaie
250 prisoners of the civil prison of Arcahaie, which was not touched by the seism, escaped, two days after the seism. Prisoners, following a mutiny have all escaped.

Rehabilitation Center for Minors in Conflict with the Law
The same day, 292 adults and minors, detainees in the Rehabilitation Center for Minors in Conflict with the Law (CERMICOL - Delmas 33,) escaped.

Civil Prison Les Cayes
Following the escape of the civil prison Damassin / Coteaux, inmates of the prison in Les Cayes have caused a mutiny January 19, 2010. Thirty-eight of the 450 prisoners have escaped. Ten were killed and 14 others were wounded in unclear circumstances (investigation ongoing).

Civil Prison of Saint-Marc
On three hundred and seventeen prisoners incarcerated in the civil prison of Saint-Marc, 10 convicts, including dangerous criminals, have inexplicably escaped.

Police station of Miragoâne
The police station converted into prisons are not exempt of escapes, at the police station of Miragoâne, 56 inmates escaped on 57.

Always today, four police stations in the country, converted by the prison authorities, are still prisons. These police stations are Aquin, Gonaïves, Petit-Goâve and Miragoâne.

Complicities, corruption, lack of staff, whatever the real causes, the result is the same. However, it is true that thousands of prisoners are on the run, they are not all dangerous criminals as some would have us believe. Indeed, if one refers to the prison population as of October 25, 2010, we find that on 5.601 people detained in prisons in Haiti, 1.384 have been convicted of crimes while 4.217 persons are in custody. The majority of these provisional detentions are not intended crimes, but offenses which would have to be the subject of a simple quotation into correctional, and which contributes to the overpopulation of the prisons, because of dysfunctions of Haitian justice.

S/ HaitiLibre

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