The physical capacity of the Haitian prison system is shrinking with each new imprisonment. The space and conditions in which Haitian prisoners live is unacceptable, and inhumane. Despite the fact that over half the prison population escaped in the aftermath of the earthquake, even today, the issue of preventive detention is still very worrying. Even though during recent decades, judicial authorities have made this issue their battle cry, it remains to be true that they have not, to date, arrived at a sustainable solution. The number of prison security officers is indeed very low, and the Haitian authorities do not seem interested in changing this situation. Meanwhile, the numbers of recorded cases of escape are the basis of the upsurge in acts of vandalism, conspiracy, rape, and kidnapping, recorded recently in Haitian society. Persons arrested for charges or crimes are kept in prison for several years before being tried, and are vulnerable to being lost in the system, being held without files of any kind to signal their presence in prison.
RNDDH calls upon the government, and all stakeholders to:
- Work to improve the working conditions, resources and training of DAP officers;
- Complete the re-apprehension of individuals who escaped following the earthquake of January 12th, 2010;
- Construct necessary prisons in the Artibonite, Gonaive, Aquin and Coteaux regions.
- Rebuild or restructure the prison spaces that are inadequate both in structure and amenities, especially those that were affected by the earthquake;
- Encourage judges to work seriously on the issues of prisoners who have already been incarcerated for more than five (5) years;
- Break with the practice of arbitrary arrests, mass detainments before investigations, and the abuse mistreatment of prisoners.