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NEWS

Short Update: Colombia enacts new decree to release detainees and alleviate overcrowding in prisons

FairTrialsAdmin - April 17, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prisoner releases

President Iván Duque signed a law decree to alleviate overcrowding in prisons. The plan is that between 4,000 and 15,000 people deprived of liberty are given house arrest. This is how it will work in practice:

This mechanism can be accessed by people who are considered at-risk populations. For example, those over 60, pregnant women, or those with children under three years of age, and those with underlying conditions such as: cancer, HIV and chronic kidney failure, diabetes, coronary heart disease or transplants, among others.

The director of the INPEC (National Penitentiary and Prison Institute), through the regional directorates and the directors of the prison establishments, will verify who are the persons who comply with the requirements and will send the list together with the records to the respective Courts.

Here the process is divided for people in pre-trial detention, and those who are serving their sentence. For pre-trial detainees, once the judge has received the documents from INPEC, he/she will request from the corresponding prosecutor, the information and documentation that is necessary to issue the respective decision. The Prosecutor's Office must respond within a period not exceeding three days and, once the response of the investigating entity is available, the judge will have another three days to make the decision. If the inmate is granted house arrest, he will sign an act of commitment before the legal office of the Penitentiary establishment.

For convicted people, once the INPEC sends all the documents to the execution judge, a decision must be made within the next five days. For those convicted pending appeal, it will be the judge who is reviewing that sentence who decide the request for house arrest.

The decree indicates that these measures are planned to last six months, but clarifies that this time can be extended depending on the circumstances.

Read more here. (in Spanish)

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected] 

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