Cuban Prison Systems

Topics: Prison, Human rights, Penology Pages: 2 (1225 words) Published: October 22, 2014

Cuban Prison Systems
Cuba, the tiny island ninety miles south of Florida has faced severe hardship for centuries, despite it being a communist country and the trade embargo put in place against the United States, Cuba has one of the harshest prison systems in the world. According to the United Nations, there are over 294 prisons and correctional camps in Cuba that house over 57,000 prisoners spread across the nearly 300 facilities (Jackson 1). These inmates range from political dissidents to cold blooded murderers, but aside from the nature of their crime, conditions in Cuban prisons are known to be cruel and inhumane. Some of the conflicts between government and prisoners’ arise when inmates complain about overpopulated tight, living quarters, malnutrition, as well as health problems and even and physical and sexual abuse from other inmates or even prison guards. The small island of Cuba, no larger than Pennsylvania, is thought to have one of the largest per capita prisons systems in the whole world. Per capita means “by heads” or “for each head”, and Cuba has one of the largest with over 57,000 inmates, However, over the past ten years or so, Cuba’s prison population has decreased from an estimated 100,000 inmates. It’s quite difficult to get numbers as to how many people are in prison in Cuba today because their government does not regularly update the official figures on the amount of inmates, only interviews with ex-prisoners and letters smuggled out by inmates tell the horrific tale of inhumane conditions. The International Committee of the Red Cross was allowed entry to one of the prison systems in 1989 when the population was around 40,000, since then there have been no outside visits. A human rights activist by the name of Vladimiro Roca, spent nearly five years in one of these prisons. “Here, people get thrown in jail for anything, if you kill a cow to feed your family, you go to jail” (Martin 1). A Human Rights Watch...
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