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Colombia : Report Slams Colombia's Failure to Control Prison Overcrowding

A report by Colombia’s Comptroller General details the state’s failure to control runaway overcrowding in prisons despite major investments, highlighting the deep-rooted issues that Latin American states consistently fail to address in reforming their crumbling penitentiary systems.

The report describes how Colombia’s prison policies have been characterized by “good intentions and failed projects,” reported El Tiempo. Despite several investment programs designed to increase capacity, it notes, Colombia’s prisons have gone from 10 percent over capacity in 1995 to 54 percent today. The Comptroller focuses on the failings of the Penitentiary and Prison Services Unit (Unidad de Servicios Penitenciarios Carcelarios – USPEC), which was created in 2011 to manage infrastructure, administration and logistics in the prison system and to address the overcrowding crisis.

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