A new Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report indicates  that between 1999 and 2017, 79 percent of prisoners in Haiti were detained without being sentenced which according to the report is  above the Latin American and Caribbean region average of 44 percentage for the same period.

According to the report in the last 10 years the region has introduced major criminal reforms to speed up procedures and speed up judgments that in most cases have led to a downward trend in relative terms. Nonetheless, the number of persons deprived of their liberty without conviction remains high.

Haiti heads the list

On a list of 24 countries, Haiti heads the list with 79 percent of people detained without conviction followed in by: Paraguay 2nd (78 percent), Bolivia 3rd (72 percent), Dominican Republic 4th (72 percent) and Uruguay 5th (69 percent).

TT has least number

The 5 countries with the least number of people in non-sentenced custody are: Belize 20th (23 percent), Panama 21st (7 percent), Jamaica 22nd (6 percent), Nicaragua 23rd (6 percent) and Trinidad and Tobago 24th (3 percent).

The IDB report explains that pre-trial detention is used to mitigate three potential risks to the accused : harm to the community (danger), interference in an investigation or escape “Unfortunately, most judges in Latin America use a criterion subjective “to interpret these three risks” adding “The high levels of impunity and pre-trial detention are related to the low ability to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators (effective investigation), as well as to try and punish the accused (judgment effective).” Continue reading

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