Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haitian Government to Combat Pretrial Detention

Haitian government officials announced their plans to relocate the National Penitentiary in their reconstruction of the City Centre, and also decrease the rates of pretrial imprisonment.

Haiti – Justice: The National Penitentiary will be relocated

Haiti Libre
October 30, 2013

Haiti - Justice: The National Penitentiary will be relocated

Sunday during the Day of prisoners in the civil prison of Port-au-Prince, commonly called the National Penitentiary, the Government is committed to combat pretrial detention. Godson Orélus, the Director General of the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Inspector General Chief Ralph Jean-Brice and Me Francisco René, the Government Commissioner of Port-au-Prince attended the commemoration of this day alongside the Minister Rose Anne Auguste, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister, in charge of Human Rights and the Fight against Poverty and Extreme and responsible for the Prison Administration.

In his remarks for the occasion, the Minister Auguste expressed concern of the Government in relation to the detention situation in the country where more than 10,357 prisoners are currently distributed in 17 correctional centers across the country. She reported the difficult situation in pretrial detention in which are the majority of prisoners, noting that steps were being taken by the Government to remedy this situation.

Among these measures, the Minister announced the reactivation by 3 months, of the Office of Control of the Prolonged Preventive Detention (BUCODEP) in the National Penitentiary and other correctional centers in the country, to reduce by 50% rate of pretrial detention.

For his part, Jean Denis Dorsiair, the Deputy Director of Operational Management of Prison Administration, announced that many construction, including the women’s prison in Cabaret, the civil prison of Petion-Ville, the civil prison of Gonaïves. In addition, he announced that the National Penitentiary, will In addition, he announced that the National Penitentiary, will be relocated as part of the reconstruction of the City Centre, work that will be funded by the U.S. Government.

In addition to the fight against prolonged pretrial detention , the Government prioritizes the approach to give the detainee the opportunity to rehabilitate . To implement this approach, Ms. Rose Anne Auguste mentioned a series of activities implemented in the prison institutions. Literacy classes are set up to teach inmates “illiterate” to read and write, the possibility of becoming shoemakers or tailors them will be offered to them during the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Meanwhile, writing workshops, of painting and singing are offered to inmates. “Our goal is to allow all prisoners to flourish, to be free, to create a state of mind that will enable them to reintegrate into society, to succeed, to be happy and and make those around them happy. We want the prison could offer them what many of them did not have prior to incarceration. Everyone must have the opportunity to grow and learn new things.”

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