Cuba's Prison Crisis

Overcrowded Prison System in Cuba

Cuba is a country which is severely limited to not only western media, but the outside world in general. It is one of the few countries left in the world that operates off a communist system and is also one of the most isolated nations outside North Korea. So when news was released by one of the state’s newspapers of the communist regime regarding the inmate population within Cuba it came as a surprise to most of the world.

The latest reports state that there are approximately 57,000 inmates currently serving time in jails or prisons throughout Cuba. This averages out to approximately 518 out of every 100,000 citizens of the island nation are currently in jail. Although this may seem like a large number of inmates it is actually less in terms of the percentages that are in prisons in the United States where we have approximately 730 out of every 100,000 citizens in prison.

Despite the numbers released by the communist newspaper “Ganma”, many still believe that these figures are actually greater than reported and range between 70,000 to 100,000 inmates. The state of the inmates is currently listed as improving, with approximately 23,000 of the 57,000, or 40%, of the inmate population currently holds jobs and receive pay for their work. The Cuban government has stated that they have a financial plan in effect to improve the infrastructure of their prison systems by 2017.

Interestingly enough, the latest reports also claim that Cuba’s main criminal problem is now lies in White Collar crimes which has been an increasing trend for the past decade. An approximated 10,000 inmates are currently being held for white collar crimes. Cuba’s release policy is also reported as being fairly lenient with an approximated 10,000 prisoners that were released this year so far. Of this figure 2,900 of the release were done as a New Year’s good will gesture.

Despite the results of these figures the problem with the living situation in Cuba’s jails is an aspect that needs great improvement. A UN hearing is scheduled to start in late May to investigate the use of cruel and unusual punishment as well as claims of torture. One of the aspects that has hampered Cuba is its inability to investigate the activities that occur at Guantanamo Bay from which Cuba’s government has received criticism for being unable to exercise their sovereignty over an area of their nation.

Video smuggled out by Cuban inmates

Several videos were released earlier this year which was smuggled out of prisons in Cuba documenting the poor conditions inmates are facing. The primary complaints by Cuban inmates are the lack of healthy food and poor quality of living conditions both factors which become exponentially unbearable with the overcrowded state of the current prisons.

The prison in question is the notorious Combinado del Este facility located just outside of Havana which is now under close watch by human rights organizations. Since the release of the ten video tapes which are believed to have been recorded throughout January Combinado del Este is considered to have one of the poorest sanitation in Latin America.

Benefits of Bail Bonds

Cuba is a nation that could benefit greatly from a service such as bail bonds to help alleviate some of their overcrowded prison conditions. Although bounty hunting is illegal in most countries throughout the world with the exception of the United States and Philippines bail bonds are a service which are offered in most first world nations to help grant the defendant a fair trial. Bail bondsmen provide a service not only to the public but they also assist judicial officials by assisting defendants in their acquisition of bail.

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