Wednesday 16 June 2021

New Legislation Takes Aim at Overcrowding in Colombia’s Prisons

TODAY COLOMBIA NEWS — Colombia’s Justice Ministry has announced legislative reforms that — if passed — would reduce the time prisoners can be held without having been convicted, a move aimed at reducing the severe overcrowding afflicting the country’s prison system.

Colombia's Justice Minister, Yesid Reyes Alvarado
Colombia’s Justice Minister, Yesid Reyes Alvarado

On October 7, the government body announced that Justice Minister Yesid Reyes Alvarado will soon present to Congress a proposed legal amendment aimed at reducing the usage and length of pretrial detention in Colombia’s justice system. Under the new proposal, anyone held for 18 months without a conviction would be freed, regardless of their crime, reported El Tiempo.

- Advertisement -

According to the Justice Ministry, there are currently 43,000 prisoners held in Colombian jails who have yet to stand trial. According to Reyes Alvarado, this “has enormous repercussions for overcrowding levels in prisons, which are currently at 52 percent over capacity.”

The amendment is part of a larger package of proposals meant to reform the judicial system in the country, reported El Colombiano.

The proposal takes aim at one of the biggest culprits for chronic prison overcrowding in Colombia, and in Latin America in general: the overuse of pretrial detention by overloaded judicial systems. According to Reyes Alvarado, Colombian prisons would be operating below full capacity if spaces were only filled by convicted criminals. According to a report by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (pdf), 34,571 prisoners in Colombia were being held without sentences as of December 2012, representing 30 percent of the 113,884 total inmates in the country.

Aside from the obvious health and human rights issues, overcrowded prisons are also a security problem in Colombia. In January 2014, a riot in a prison operating at over double the legal capacity left 10 dead and 40 wounded. In September, it was revealed prisoners — among them people arrested for homicide and armed robbery — were being held in a park because there was no other place to put them.

- Advertisement -

Colombia has previously tried some alternative solutions to tackle overcrowding. Prior modifications to the penal code have made it harder for judges to incarcerate detainees, which resulted in less than 15 percent of all detainees ending up in prison during the first three months of 2014.

The overuse of pretrial detention is hardly unique to Colombia: according to a September 2014 report by Open Society Foundations, over 80 percent of Bolivia’s prison population has not been convicted of a crime, while Paraguay, Venezuela, and Uruguay all have pretrial detention rates of over 60 percent.

Article first appeared on Today Colombia, reposted with permission

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin...

Ortega government accuses imprisoned opponents of receiving money from the United States to overthrow him

TODAY NICARAGUA – The Nicaraguan government assures that the imprisoned political...

MOST READ

Central America is back in the news for the wrong reasons, Costa Rica is once again the exception

QCOSTARICA - Osta Rica has been the epicenter of regional diplomacy in recent days. The successive visits of the Secretary of State of the...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

New Television Program To Promote Family Fun

Q ENTERTAINMENT - Attention families of Costa Rica! A new contest program, led by Douglas Sánchez and Verónica González, is looking for participants who...

Bribed with cars, sexual favors and money in exchange for road works contracts

QCOSTARICA - The OIJ uncovered a big pothole on Monday when it was announced that public officials had allied with construction companies that, apparently,...

The US sanctions Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega’s daughter and close associates

TODAY NICARAGUA – The United States imposed economic sanctions on four Nicaraguan officials close to President Daniel Ortega on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, including...

Vaccine Tourism – A Practical Guide

By Amy Gdala, Guest Contributor - The US has a surplus of vaccines, while Costa Rica is struggling to supply sufficient numbers to citizens...

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin ailments on the planet, with a record 60 million people being afflicted by...

eHow to Become Successful in Online Casino Betting 

To become a successful gambler in the online industry, there is a lot to cover. It can be known to be a vastly different...

Rainy afternoons and nights this week in most of the country

QCOSTARICA - Characteristic of the rainy season, we will see rain in the afternoons and nights in the Central Valley, the entire Pacific coast,...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.