News'Hotel for prisoners' or humanization? They propose in Colombia that inmates...

    ‘Hotel for prisoners’ or humanization? They propose in Colombia that inmates can work outside the prison

    The new draft reform of the Penal Code in Colombia has among its articles one that has generated controversy, since it proposes that those deprived of liberty go out to work on the streets and return to jail at night.

    The draft of this proposal circulates on the networks, which has not yet been introduced to Congress, but on which both the Minister of Justice, Nestor Osuna, and several of his political detractors have spoken.

    The bill seeks “humanize criminal and prison policy to contribute to overcoming the unconstitutional state of affairs”. With this objective, modifications are proposed to the Penal, Penal Procedure and Penitentiary and Prison Codes, among other related laws.

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    And it is that in Colombia, according to data from the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (Inpec), there is 20% overcrowding in the country’s prisons, for which President Gustavo Petro himself has referred on several occasions in proposals to decongest the prisons.

    Between the 87 items of this new legal instrument, promoted by the Justice portfolio, several of them have focused the attention of the media and political figures related to criminal law and Parliament. These are the paragraphs in which the work and external study of the inmates is promoted, under certain conditions.

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    What is it about?

    According to the released draft, the convicted person may be granted “preparatory release” – granted to those who have served part of the sentence and could be released for good conduct or rehabilitation – so that they can carry out community repair activities, work in factories, companies or with natural persons.

    To do this, they must meet three requirements: that they have been denied house arrest; be classified in the “external phase of preparation for release” or have served at least three-fifths of the sentence.

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    This proposal also covers
    technical, professional or postgraduate studies at universities or other educational institutions.

    These work and student activities can only be carried out during the dayTherefore, the prisoner must return to the detention center to sleep there.

    In the same way, those who obtain this benefit may continue to have the weekend permit, so that they can share with their relatives and environment.

    Who can get “preparatory release”?

    To evaluate the beneficiaries of this measure, the Disciplinary Council would be in charge of ascertaining the good conduct of those selected
    in a certain period, in addition to “their consecration to work, study and their clear improvement and the process of their social readaptation”.

    The authorization would be approved by the aforementioned Council, which would send it to the director of the penitentiary establishment so that he can enforce it. In turn, the latter must exercise a “permanent control on the convicted” and issue a fortnightly report on the matter.

    In the case of repeat offenders or those convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, crimes against people and assets protected by International Humanitarian Law, serious violations of human rights or intentional crimes against the Public Administration, “preparatory freedom “will only be awarded when they have served five sevenths of the sentence and received the “favorable opinion of the Prison Treatment and Social Care Council.”

    What the Minister of Justice has said

    In an interview with Caracol, the head of Justice stated that this proposal seeks to guarantee that those who have committed crimes do not do it again. For this reason, it is proposed that “throughout the sentence the person acquires new work habits and contact with his family and his social nucleus.”

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    He asserted that for this bill to crystallize, security conditions are needed when moving from one place to another, and the guarantee that the job has been previously arranged so that the inmate knows the trade he is going to carry out.

    Osuna acknowledged that he does not want “cause flight hazards or alarms to the public” and that the idea is that “a person who has gone through the resocialization process, once they finish paying their sentence, continue working.”

    “It’s an ambitious project. I recognize it, and we will have to make a significant effort for it to start working,” he said.

    The reactions

    After these announcements, there was support for the Minister of Justice by some lawyers and legal experts, but also comments of rejection from political sectors that are opposed to the Petro government, as has happened with other bills.

    Among the expressions of encouragement on Twitter, one can read tweets in which it is asserted that inmates are already allowed to leave the country for 72 hours, information not handled by those who oppose the project.

    In an interaction, it is stated that the Justice portfolio “has listened to the litigating criminal lawyers.”

    While another lawyer recalls that this benefit of leaving the prison to work, “already exists in countries like Spain with excellent results.”

    On the opposite sidewalk is Juanita Catano, a former candidate for the House of Representatives for the opposition party Cambio Radical, who considers that this benefit It should be for the workers and not for the private of freedom.

    For his part, the political scientist Sebastian Narvaez Medina considers that this policy would be a “concession” of the Government with the “criminals”, who seeks “for the prison to be the hotel of the convicts.”

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    Source: RT

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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