Latin America / Alternative measures to imprisonment

Technical Assistance to Ecuador and Colombia regarding alternative measures

28 September 2020
Medidas alternativas

The Correctional Systems component of  EL PAcCTO continues with a series of activities to encourage the use of measures other than imprisonment in Latin America.

In recent weeks, the team has been working with two countries, Ecuador and Colombia.

Prison overcrowding and alternative measures in Ecuador

Italian surveillance judge Monica Cali managed the process of activating an Interinstitutional Technical Committee (ITC) to implement alternative measures to imprisonment in Ecuador.

The first meeting was held on 15 May and was attended by representatives of the Ecuadorian National Court of Justice, the SNAI, the Public Defender’s Office, the Council of the Judiciary and the Attorney General. Based on the information gathered, the expert drew up a protocol to activate the ITC and an action plan including a pilot plan to be carried out in a medium-sized city in the country.

On 23 September, in a follow-up meeting held with the National Court, the foundations were laid to draft the final protocol and, with prior approval from all the institutions involved, to identify the regulatory device so the ITC can be officially installed and the pilot plan can be launched.

This advice not only paves the way to regulate and optimise the application of alternative measures to imprisonment, measures that are even more important during a viral pandemic, but it also improves coordination between the different institutions to benefit the Ecuadorian prison system.

Information on prisons in Colombia

The advice to Colombia is also going ahead, with participation by Italian expert Filippo Scapellato. In the wake of an initial meeting with representatives of the INPE and the Ministry of Justice last July, a questionnaire that the expert sent to the Colombian counterparts is being analysed. This had provided up-to-date data on the situation in prisons and the profile of incarcerated people. It also includes more detailed information on the regulatory framework and its operating practices. The first recommendations from the expert will be shared and the steps to follow will be defined at the next meeting.