Year
Author(s)Observatoire ivoirien des droits de l'homme / Frédéric Le Marcis / Prison Insider

Introduction

The prevalence of pre-trial detention is the key factor causing prison overpopulation. The number of prisoners housed in the prison system is almost double its capacity.

Several prison mutinies have taken place: in February 2016 at the jail in Abidjan (MACA) and at the jail in Dimbokro more recently in May 2017. In January 2017, prison guards demonstrated at the prisons in Bouake and Odienne to demand better working conditions.

The political crisis following the 2010 presidential elections has had an impact on prison conditions. Prisoners who support the outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo are subjected to surveillance, sometimes by fellow prisoners. Yacou Coulibaly, a highly publicised prisoner known as Yacou le Chinois (Yacou the Chinese), was charged with this task at the MACA. The mutinies of January 2017 by soldiers, gendarmes, and prison guards also arose from the conflict opposing factions who support Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo.

Country population

24,300,000

i
2017
/ World Bank

Type of government

Presidential democracy

Human Development Index

0.915

i
2015
/ UNDP

Homicide rate (per 100,000 inhabitants)

11.6

i
2017
/ UNDP