Latin America / Penitentiary systems

Advice on the strengthening of penitentiary systems in Latin America

01 March 2021

With the objective of strengthening the prison system in Latin America, the EL PAcCTO programme has organised two major activities with the penitentiary institutions of Paraguay and Peru. Prominent among them are the subjects of careers in the prison system and alternative measures to detention.

New penitentiary curricula in Paraguay

Throughout February, EL PAcCTO was very active, remotely, following up on the consultancy work carried out by the programme on matters to do with careers in the prison system. In this sense, the Department of Penitentiary Administration of Italy has provided advice to strengthen the Centre for Penitentiary Studies of Paraguay.

The activity included a major process involving assistance and institutional strengthening that entailed the building of capacities oriented towards carrying out the delicate institutional tasks of the penitentiary police and the technical roles of the administration. This enables the Paraguayan government to contribute to the training of personnel and, in this way, strengthen the skills of prison personnel and combat the infiltration of organised crime in the country’s prisons.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Criminal Policy, Rubén Maciel, and several prison training representatives from the Paraguayan penitentiary system, as well as the DPA training director, Dr Turrini Vita, who shared good Italian practices used to limit proselytism, recruitment, radicalisation and training of inmates.

Reunión con Paraguay

Work meeting between EL PAcCTO and INPE in Peru

At a historical time for the country, determined by the declared unconstitutionality of the detention system and its necessary comprehensive reform, a video-conference with the director of INPE of Peru, Susana Silva Hasembank, was held aimed to consolidate collaboration with the Peruvian Penitentiary Institute.

INPE expressed special interest in the use of electronic bracelets and especially in the application of alternative measures to imprisonment to ease congestion in Peruvian prisons, which are characterised by significant rates of overcrowding. Likewise, she highlighted the importance of continuing to collaborate with EL PAcCTO in terms of differentiated circuits for high security and in improving the training of prison staff with a special focus on the treatment of inmates involved in transnational organised crime.

Reunión con INPE Perú

EL PAcCTO will continue to support all the region’s countries in the fight against the infiltration of organised crime in prisons, and especially in the application of prison intelligence, while respecting and paying attention to human rights.