Haiti Pre-trial detention, prisoners wait years for court appearances

Haiti has been ranked 12th in the most corrupt countries across the world based on Transparency International, in part because, for many prisoners, the opportunity of getting their cases heard before the courts actually means waiting for several years. The end result of arrest, trail, conviction or release all boils down to money.


There are multiple reasons why cases often do not get processed according to Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy. One of the biggest problems is insufficient resources. Another is because of an outdated system. However, the biggest problem is the high rate of pre-trial detention which fuels the market for bribes.

Simply put, many arresting officers and justice officials are part of this bribery system, showing that corruption works both ways. For this reason, many persons end up in prison who should not be there and many persons are released who should actually not be out of prison. It is such that some officers would actually think twice before making an arrest of a real criminal. These individuals have the resources necessary to get out quickly.

Crime and violence have seen a huge increase since the earthquake and homicides rates have seen a large rise of 72 per 100,000 last year based on information coming from the Igarape Institute. The average rate across the world is only 7 per 100,000. Even though rates have fallen in the capital, the maintenance of law and order is presenting a major challenge because of inadequate resources.

The police force stands at 10,200 for a population of 10 million; Ireland has 13,200 with a population of 4.6 million.

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Read more: crime, Prison, illegally imprisonment, Prison Escape, Prison Inmate, Political Prisoner, Security Crime Law and Order

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