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NEWS

Short Update: Report seeks to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Latin American prisons

FairTrialsAdmin - August 12, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prison conditions, Prison monitoring, Prisoner releases

A group of Latin American criminologists have put together an initial overview of how the pandemic has impacted the region’s prison systems as of June 1st. They found that the region’s overcrowded prisons were not prepared for the pandemic.   

Systems initially restricted contact with the outside world, and all but suspended visits. This reduced the quality of services available to inmates and cut off the main source of goods that inmates consume. These restrictions, coupled with poor conditions, fear of infection, and a lack of PPE, led to protests and even deadly riots in over half of the systems.  

Finally, while two-thirds of systems adopted early release or house arrest to reduce overcrowding, only three made these options available to more than 5% of inmates. The majority of systems have not made serious efforts to reduce overcrowding.  

See the report here (in Spanish, English overview available).  

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]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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