Overcrowding Continues in Panamanian Prisons

Overcrowding Continues in Panamanian Prisons
Saturday, May 29 2010 @ 02:09 PM EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

Views: 155

Yesterday the head of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ), Javier Carrillo, said on the television program Trocha Abierta that in Panama there is a prison population of 11,400 inmates, that there are not enough prison cells to house them all, which greatly exacerbates the whole issue of the national prison system. Just yesterday, said Carrillo, another 111 people were arrested for various criminal acts, and that these people had to be put in an area designed for only 60 people, that in some way the human rights of these people are being violated because they are being held in inhumane conditions, and that there is a lack of infrastructure compared to the realities of crime in this country. “It’s getting one job done, but this is a social problem. We have to work with our youth so that this situation does not get out of hand, not as policemen, but rather as a society, which is more important,” he said. (La Estrella)
Editor’s Comment: The administration of Ricardo Martinelli has plans to build new prison facilities, but these things don’t just come on line overnight. Prison overcrowding in Panama is not a new issue – conditions in jails and prisons have been subhuman for many years. The administration of Martin Torrijos did absolutely nothing to fix the problem in five years, except talk about the issue. And consider this – most of the people who commit crimes in Panama don’t get caught. And, most of the people who do get caught don’t get punished. The “justice” system is broken in so many ways that it’s ridiculous. Prisons should not be “nice” places, but at the very least there should be minimum standards of living conditions for the inmates, which in many cases are not being met in Panama.

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