One in four inmates who made an appeal since 2009 was to get a bed, this according to the Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court). In the last four years, the Court says it resolved 78 appeals with respect to overcrowding in the country’s prisons, of which 19 were requesting a bed because the inmate was sleeping on the floor.

The prison with biggest overcrowding problem is La Reforma in Alajuela..

Magistrate Fernando Castillo, said that the Court receives constant appeals from inmates for the poor living conditions in the prisons.

According to the Ministerio de Justicia (Ministry of Justice), the prison system is experiencing a 34% overpopulation. Currently there are 14.000 inmates in a system that is equipped to handle some 11.000 prisoners.

Justice Minister, Fernando Ferraro, said that the situation, the distribution of the “colchonetas” (mats) has improved, this due to a new contract with the supplier.

To mitigate the overpopulation, Ferraro said the bidding process for the construction of 2.700 news spaces is underway. Without providing specific details, the minister said the spaces will be added in various prisons and funded with a loan of US$132 million by the  Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID).

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