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Revista Criminalidad

Print version ISSN 1794-3108


ARENAS GARCIA, Lorea  and  CEREZO DOMINGUEZ, Ana Isabel. The reality of the penitentiary system in Colombia: the need to introduce a new criminal policy. Rev. Crim. [online]. 2016, vol.58, n.2, pp.175-195. ISSN 1794-3108.

Overcrowding in prisons as a common condition in most Latin American countries is an extremely serious problem, since it causes unimaginable suff ering upon thousands of individuals deprived of freedom. The deplorable state of penitentiary infrastructures and the dehumanizing conditions that inmates have to endure every single day tend to compromise the position and reputation of the State as a true guarantor of fundamental rights. This circumstance has leaked to the public and helped trigger the -already old- debate about the state policies developed around criminal and prison matters. This work is mainly aimed at approaching the reality of the penitentiary system in Colombia by analyzing the prisonovercrowding phenomenon from a descriptive and longitudinal perspective, in order to put forward improvement proposals. For this purpose, secondary information sources from diff erent domains like official statistics and national and international provisions have been examined, as well as research studies prepared by academics and public institutions. Major results highlight the negative impacts and implications of the present criminal policy in the penitentiary environment, and the imperative need for new thinking along with a revised and well-planned orientation

Keywords : Prison; penitentiary system; prison overcrowding; violations of human rights; criminal policy.

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