While in Haiti 7.188 (72.57% national average) people on a total prison population of 9.904, are detained in prisons in Haiti awaiting trial, two workshops bringing together Magistrates, Government Commissioners, lawyers and police officers took place on 20 and 27 March, to find solutions to the problem of prolonged pretrial detention and deprivation of liberty before trial. At the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, only 8.19% of the detainees were tried and sentenced…
Me Jean Michel Raymond, Dean of the Civil Court of Port-au-Prince, which includes a total of 27 judges and 11 judges seating, declared that “To get to solve this problem, the courts must be able to work continuously and that the State put means at the disposal of judges,” recalling that the investigating judges are willing to give two hearings per week and the judges seating, 3 hearings per week, bu that the lack of space in the court remains one of the biggest problems, with consequences on the time of detention. “We have so far 5 courtrooms, while we should have at least 15.”
Both workshops were held as part of a Quick impact project (QIP) developed, jointly by the Justice section and the section of Human Rights of jointly by the Justice section and the section of Human Rights of Minustah, which helped equip a particular number of jurisdictions of the Department of the West.
This entire preventative detention is criminal, in itself.
Someone could be suspected of some minor crime. If found guilty there might be a small fine. However, some of these people held, on preventative detention, have lived in prison for over 3 years without even appearing before a magistrate.
Very few murderers are held under preventative detention. Most of those held are minor offenders.
Open the doors and let all of the small fish out.