Via HaitiLibre.com: Nightmare at the National Penitentiary.
At the National Penitentiary of Port-au-Prince has a capacity of 778 prisoners, at a rate of 2.25 m per prisoner below international standards which sets the minimum area per prisoner at 4.50 m2. However, in reality because of prison overcrowding, in January 2017, the National Penitentiary had 4.257 prisoners, each with less than half a square meter of living space!
Note that only 548 prisoners in this prison are convicted and that all other prisoners are held in preventive detention without trial, some have been waiting for several years.
The detainees live in disreputable conditions: there is no toilet in the cells forcing prisoners to use polystyrene containers and throwing them out of the windows, no lighting, no ventilation. The overpopulation is such that it is not uncommon for 4 detainees to share a bunk.
In addition to the shortage of food the water is unsuitable and causes skin diseases: itch, scabies etc.... and intestinal: diarrhea and cholera. In addition, the presence of rats and various insects in the cells, promote the spread of certain diseases, as a result that healthy inmates often fall ill.
In addition, penitentiary staff are understaffed and can not guarantee the safety of prisoners who are confronted with everyday violence. Only about forty agents each day, an agent for 112 detainees while the international standards are of an agent for 4 detainees.
Several prisoners, already weakened by the conditions of detention and the physical environment of the prison, died of disorders due inter alia to malnutrition.
Number of detainees who died in 2016: January (8); February (10); March (6); April (2); May (2); June (0); July (6); August (5); September (3); October (1); November (4); (13). In 2017: Until January (14).
Between 1 and 19 January there is an increase in deaths from previous months. The causes of the deaths, declared by the authorities of the prison for January 2017 are: anemia, severe anemia, cardiorespiratory arrest, respiratory distress, pulmonary tuberculosis, hypovolemic shock and gastroenteritis.
Today, 30 detainees are currently in a state that could cause their deaths in the next few days due to conditions of detention and food rationing due to non-payment of inputs by the Directorate of Prison Administration (DAP), in particular since last December. Stock shortages and delays in condiment payments have had serious repercussions on the health of prisoners.
Numerous steps have been taken by the National Penitentiary with the DAP but they have remained unsuccessful so far and the alarming situation in which prisoners live now becomes chronic and critical.