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Poverty, Prisons, and Social Development. Excerpts from the second edition of Dignity of the Individual International CURE photos by Alan Pogue. Contents. Significant Social Development Programs Inadequate Social Development Overcrowding Inhumane conditions Violence and crime

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Poverty,Prisons,andSocial Development


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Excerpts from the second edition ofDignityof the IndividualInternational CUREphotos by Alan Pogue


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Contents

  • Significant Social Development Programs

  • Inadequate Social DevelopmentOvercrowding Inhumane conditions Violence and crime

  • Reform Recommendations


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WHOARETHE INCARCERATED?



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  • A high percentage of persons incarcerated are: - the poor, - with least education, - with least job skills, and - from racial and ethnic minority communities.


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Our prisons can be schools for either

  • Anti-Social Development

  • OR

  • Restorative Social Development


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SignificantRestorativeProgramsextracts from the evaluations of each country


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Printing press in too often ignored. Argentina prison


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  • Belize: too often ignored. Hattieville prison has a five step rehabilitative and educational program. This program includes a life skills training program, as well as agriculture classes, computer programming classes and parenting skills classes. (a state-sponsored program)


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Planer in Colombia prison too often ignored.


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  • Columbia too often ignored. . Before his release from Picalea prison, Jose David Toro created a "Peace Laboratory" to help prepare inmates "for life outside prison through a combination of psychological, educational, and creative support programs." Emphasis was placed on developing work skills, with volunteers teaching inmates accounting and how to start small businesses. (a privately sponsored program with cooperation of the state)After his release, he founded the Horizons of Freedom Foundation with a group of 42 prisoners, former prisoners, and family members of Picalea inmates. "He has succeeded in creating one place in the whole nation where left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary members coexist in peace- in prison, no less."


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Class in Colombia prison too often ignored.


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  • El Salvador: too often ignored. Prisons have work, education and recreation programs, for a minority of prisoners.Educational opportunities, besides occupational workshops (carpentry, bakery, tailoring, etc), would generally include grades 1-9, though high school is occasionally available, usually by correspondence.(state-sponsored programs)



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  • Ecuador: too often ignored. Ximena Costales rehabilitates prisoners in Ecuador through self-employment training and the establishment of small businesses. Her approach virtually eliminates recidivism while sowing the seeds of self-employment in poor communities. After learning how to read and write, prisoners are given at least 40 hours of instruction in basic management, total quality management, and higher-level business techniques. (a privately sponsored program with cooperation of the state)


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Workers in Uruguay prison too often ignored.


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  • Mexico: too often ignored. Programa Alternativas a la Violencia – México, is currently working with the inmates of one of Mexico City’s eight correctional facilities, the North Men’s Prison. In participatory exercises, the program experientially teaches incarcerated persons how to cope with everyday conflict, based on principles like thinking before reacting, confidence in self, and empathy for the other.Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops have been conducted in the prisons or communities of at least eight OAS countries, including Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the United States. (a privately sponsored program with cooperation of the state)


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  • Uruguay: too often ignored. One very fine example is the work of Virginia Varela Dubra. In summary, Her work starts in the prison, where she provides counseling, private tutoring, and off-site vocational training . Having proven the effectiveness of her approach in Montevideo's largest juvenile detention center, Dubra is increasing her organization to include eight additional prisons in Uruguay, with plans to use her existing network to spread elements of her work throughout Latin America. (a privately sponsored program with cooperation of the state)


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Making chairs in Brazil prison too often ignored.


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  • Brazil: too often ignored. An exceptional program is NAAVIS – Núcleo de Articulações e Atividades Vertentes à Inclusão Social , a non-profit civil society organization, which operates a participatory model for social reintegration of jailed youths in Ceará, Brazil. NAAVIS starts with a diagnosis on the needs and interests of that prison community. Next, partner organizations provide services that meet said needs, including training and technical / pedagogical assistance. The NAAVIS model is being disseminated in four Brazilian States. (a privately sponsored program with cooperation of the state)


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  • United States too often ignored.

    • Prisons reportedly have fewer work, education and recreation programs today than they had 20 years ago.

    • Nevertheless, more than 85,000 prisoners are now attending college courses (mostly job oriented).


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  • United States: too often ignored. The Peter Young Housing, Industry, Treatment program is a comprehensive reentry-assistance process. Operating in five cities in New York State, it provides:- Alternatives to incarceration, - Transitional and permanent housing, - Alcohol and drug treatment services, - Halfway houses and supportive living, - Vocational job training . culinary arts, . motel and restaurant operations, . building maintenance and. computer applications, - Job placement, and - Job retention and job coaching services.(a privately sponsored program, using funds from state-programs)


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Student in Panama prison too often ignored.


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  • Canada too often ignored. . LifeLine is a partnership between Correctional Service Canada (CSC), National Parole Board (NPB) and non-government organizations. It's about long-term offenders -- lifers -- who have successfully re-integrated into the community for at least five years and who are recruited to help other lifers throughout their sentences. Life Line involves lifers on parole assisting other lifers; it encompasses a partnership between offenders, community agencies, and government correctional services; and it includes several community-based agencies across Canada, each independent of the other but who share the same goals.(a state-sponsored program)


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Key Problems too often ignored. .Examination of the country-evaluations leads to the following observations and identification of key problems.


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Overcrowding too often ignored.


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  • Official figures show that 18 too often ignored. OAS countries have prison populations that exceed 120% of capacity, ranging up to 184% for Haiti and 302% for Barbados.

  • Nine countries have incarceration rates above 300 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.


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In a U.S. prison too often ignored.



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  • By official figures, ten too often ignored. OAS countries have more than 50% of their prisoners as pre-trial detainees.

  • Slow processing of criminal cases and inadequate defense attorneys lead to systemic violation of due process rights. 


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youth in Argentina prison too often ignored.



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Inhumane Conditions too often ignored. .


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In Argentina prison provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care.


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  • Antigua and Barbuda provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. : The prison did not have toilet facilities, and slop pails were used in 122 cells. Prison staff complained anonymously to the press about a reported increase in the number of prisoners who had HIV/AIDS and charges that certain inmates were made into "sex slaves" by other prisoners.


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  • Bolivia: provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. A major problem, in addition to insufficient food and overcrowding, is the lack of medical services. To begin with, there is a lack of sanitation and hygienic facilities. Another big health problem is drug and alcohol abuse. Prisoners with money can get permission for outside medical treatment. Inmates who could pay had access to drugs and alcohol. Of the country's 14 jails, 5 did not have doctors or provide medical assistance.


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  • Brazil provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. : The prisons do not provide adequate health care for prisoners. Some prisons have no doctors; some do not have enough doctors and/or nurses.  Some doctors rarely show up to work. Prenatal care is almost nonexistent. Treatment is delayed; there’s always a shortage of medicine.


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In a Brazil prison provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care.


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  • Mexico: provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. Abuses include inmates having to purchase food and medicine, coercion, violence, drugs and arms trafficking, bribery, and lack of control by officials to the point that inmates were exercising authority over them.


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  • Nicaragua: provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. A report by a human rights group in 1992 accused the government of inexcusable indifference because it failed to allocate adequate funds. The prisoners were described as suffering from lack of food, clothing, medicine, and medical treatment. Cases of malnutrition were found as well as contaminated water.


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  • Venezuela provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. : Prison conditions were harsh due to scarce resources, poorly trained and corrupt prison staff, and violence by guards and inmates. Inmates often had to pay guards and other inmates to obtain necessities such as space in a cell, a bed, and food.


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In Argentina prison provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care.


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  • Honduras provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. : TB is approximately 18 times higher than the civil sector and HIV infection among TB cases is 17% vs. 8% among the general population. 6.8% of these prisoners were HIV positive and that figure is five times the national average. Many non-infected prisoners are at higher risk for TB and HIV infection because of overcrowded conditions and malnutrition which are risk factors for TB and HIV/AIDS.


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  • United States provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. . The HIV/AIDS rate is six times higher in state and federal prisons than it is in the general population. In 1999, active tuberculosis was detected in 12,000 U.S. inmates, which accounted for 35% of the total cases, and the rate was 50 times that of non-incarcerated individuals. Hepatitis infection rate is 9-10 times higher in the prison population than that of the general public.


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  • United States: provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care. Racial and ethnic bias remain a serious problem. For example, in New York state, a majority of the population, and a majority of the drug users or drug dealers, are white. Nevertheless, over ninety percent of those in New York state prisons for drug crimes are not white, but Afro-American or Hispanic.


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inmate in U.S. prison provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care.


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Violence and Crime. provide inadequate food, general health care, and mental health care.


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  • As crowding has increased, so has prison violence - with physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons. 

  • Guards who receive inadequate salaries and training are too often susceptible to corruption or use excessive force to quell disturbances.  With too few guards, parts of some prisons are inadequately patrolled, and left to the mercies of powerful inmates.


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In a physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  Colombia prison


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  • Haiti physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  : Members of the security forces continued to violate prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Police officers use excessive and sometimes deadly force in making arrests or controlling demonstrations.


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Panama cell block physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons. 


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  • Venezuela physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  : Violence between prison gangs, including shootouts and riots, was common. Most inmate deaths resulted from prisoner-on-prisoner violence, riots, fires, and from generally unsanitary and unsafe conditions.


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  • United States physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  . 53 prisoners were executed in the USA in 2006, bringing the year-end total to 1057 executed since the use of the death penalty was resumed in 1977.

  • Around 3,400 prisoners were under sentence of death as of 1 January 2007.


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“Listen to me!” physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  in a U.S. prison


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  • Isn’t it clear that physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  crime and prisons are too often the evidence of failures to invest in social development?


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Reform Recommendations physical abuse, gang domination, rapes, and riots increasingly common.  Narcotics trafficking, prostitution rings, and other criminal enterprises are prevalent in too many prisons.  ofInternational CURE.towards more effective and restorative criminal justice systems.


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  • In the light of the evaluations of prison systems in the 35 countries of the OAS,and the many years of experience of Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants, International CURE is pleased to submit the following 22 recommendations for more effective and restorative criminal justice systems:


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  • 5. Eliminate confinement of political prisoners. jails, and to promote adherence to prison regulations and standards, and the human rights of prisoners.Incarcerate only those who are convicted of, or who plead guilty without coercion, to violation of criminal statutes.

  • 6. Reduce the effects of racial and ethnic bias in criminal justice systems.


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  • 15. Set humane limitations on the use of solitary confinement.

  • 16. Provide rehabilitation and re-entry planning beginning during the first days of incarceration.Fund programs to fulfill that plan to enable services both during incarceration and after release.


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Argentina prison confinement.


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waiting incarcerated persons.


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Discussion Questions incarcerated persons.

  • How does failure to invest in social development contribute to crime and other extremes?

  • Why not just abandon those marginalized in social development and concentrate on the next generation?

  • How can we transform prisons into truly restorative “correctional facilities”?


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Discussion Questions incarcerated persons.

  • How much of early social development should be considered a “human right”?

  • What are our priorities in social development for more restorative criminal justice systems?

  • What is our recommendation to the NGOComSocDev?