Dominica struggles with overcrowded jails

20:59, August 03, 2010      

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Jails in the Dominican Republic are overcrowded and prisoner numbers are 182 percent more than their allowable capacity, prison authorities said on Monday.

The country's jails now hold over 20,000 more prisoners than the designed capacity of the prisons, Manuel Sanchez, Dominica's prisons inspector general, said in a report.

The overcrowding in Dominica is the third worst in Latin America, after neighboring Haiti and the Central American country of El Salvador, Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the La Victoria prison, the country's largest which is located in the eastern suburbs of the capital, was built in the 1950s with a capacity of 1,500, but it currently holds more than 5,100 inmates.

Moreover, overcrowding has resulted in increasing deaths of prisoners due to shortages of food and medical treatment as well as prison violence, Sanchez said.

Eleven prisoners have died in jail violence so far this year.

Source: Xinhua


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