PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 30, CMC – The National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDD) has found that the majority of prisoners are “old and unsuitable” for the conditions of the prisons in the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
In a report published ahead of the 63rd International Prisoners Day on Wednesday, the RNDDH provide an overwhelming and detailed report on the Haitian prison system, including the general conditions of detention and the legal situation of detainees.
It said that at least 37 per cent of those in jails are old and unsuitable with unhealthy cells.
“Prisons receive three times more than their capacity. The majority of them do not have beds or insufficient mattresses, causing prisoners, including those from prison centers in remote areas, to sleep on the floor, on pieces of cardboard, carpets or sheets provided by members of their family.”
The RNDDH said that from January to October 2018, at least 118 deaths were recorded in the country’s prisons.
“The conditions of detention in three police stations transformed into prison since 2004 were also analyzed. They present conditions similar to prisons and are characterized by cell overcrowding, insalubrity and all kinds of deprivation of which the prisoners are victims.”
The human rights group said that in terms of food, the supply distributed by the Directorate of Penitentiary Administration (DAP) has decreased, forcing prison officials to offer prisoners only one meal a day.
It said on the legal side, more than 75 per cent of prisoners are in prolonged pre-trial detention and wait for the judicial authorities to pronounce on their case.
“The gender analysis shows that of the 375 women and girls in prison, only 62 (16.53%) were tried and sentenced. Of the 8,507 men and boys in prison, only 2,891 (33.98%) were tried and sentenced,” it added.