Mexico City Sees 69% Drop in Inmate Population

5/21/2015 InSight Crime

hands in handcuffsOvercrowding in Mexico City’s prisons has fallen by 69 percent over the last four months thanks to reforms in the criminal justice system that could offer a solution for other Latin American countries with overpopulated penitentiary systems.

According to Hazael Ruiz Ortega, the Undersecretary for Mexico City’s Penitentiary System, the reduction is due to a reclassification of the types of crimes that are considered jailable offenses, reported El Universal.

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Infographic: “Were You Mistreated?”

By Gabrielle Velasco, Mexico Institute intern

__Were_You________MistreatedThis new infographic by the Mexico Institute charts data gathered from a survey conducted by Roberto Hernandez that asks Mexican prison inmates in the State of Mexico and DF if they were mistreated during their interrogations.

Click here to see the infographic. 

Related material:

Video: Criminal Just in an Emerging Democracy: Perspectives from Mexico’s Inmates

Transparency and the Rule of Law Series

Inmate Experiences in Mexican Prisons

Mexico’s Prison Reform

Youth Incarceration in Mexico

EVENT TOMORROW! Criminal Justice in an Emerging Democracy: Perspectives from Mexico’s Inmates

prison cell blockWHEN: TOMORROW, Friday, May 27, 9:00-10:30am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico’s lower courts are undergoing a dramatic transformation, abandoning its behind-closed-doors, written criminal trials, and embracing a new criminal justice system (NCJS) with oral, adversary procedures. This reform template has been adopted by at least fourteen nations in Latin America. In order to measure the effects these reforms have on the criminal justice system, this event will present two studies that examine the system from an inmate’s perspective.

Roberto Hernández, the creator of the movies Presunto Culpable and El Tunel, will present a study that quantifies how authorities use their investigative powers to conduct eyewitness identification procedures; and interview or interrogate suspects. Elena Azaola will discuss a study conducted in 2014 in youth detention centers for adolescents who committed serious crimes. The study analyzes the background of these adolescents and the factors that contributed to their criminal actions.

Speakers

Roberto Hernández 
Mexican Lawyer and Filmmaker

Elena Azaola
Psychoanalyst and Anthropologist

Moderator

John Bailey
Professor, Georgetown University

Click here for more information, or to RSVP.

Officials say 13 dead, dozens injured in central Mexico prison clash

prison cell blockAssociated Press, 4/27/13

A battle between groups of prisoners left 13 inmates dead and another 65 injured on Saturday, according to officials in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. The clash began when a group of inmates, fed up with harassment by other prisoners, used homemade knives and picks to attack their rivals starting at about 4:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. EDT; 0915 GMT) at the La Pila prison in the state capital, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Agency spokeswoman Gabriela Gonzalez Chong called the violence a “fight not an uprising” against prison authorities. San Luis Potosi Gov. Fernando Toranzo told a news conference that 13 inmates had died, and that 22 of the 65 injured were in serious condition.

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Police find bar for inmates at prison in Mexico

CBS News, 5/26/2011

Police have discovered a bar at prison in northern Mexico that served beer, tequila and vodka to inmates.

A spokesman for Chihuahua state’s prosecutor for prisons saysd the deputy director of the prison where the bar was discovered has been fired. Spokesman Jorge Chaires said Wednesday that guards at the low-security prison are under investigation.

The bar was discovered Monday at the prison in Chihuahua city, the state capital.

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U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails

Washington Post, 5/19/2009

obama1The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.

By matching inmates’ fingerprints to federal immigration databases, authorities hope to pinpoint deportable illegal immigrants before they are released from custody.

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