La Reforma prison figures in three separate developments

Prison officials have transferred the guard staff at the maximum security unit at La Reforma prison in San Rafael de Alajuela. Prisoners have made allegations of torture and beatings, and an investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, the Sala IV constitutional court has given some support to prisoners who appealed the state of their condition in the prison. One claimed he had to sleep on the floor. The other claimed the facility was overcrowded.

The court gave prison officials a year to reduce the population there.

At the legislature, the Comisión Permanente Especial de
Seguridad y Narcotráfico voted to ask the minister of Justica y Paz, Hernando Paris, to appear and discuss the prison situation.

The committee also voted to ask the minister of security, Mario Zamora Cordero, to appear to outline plans for a $132 million loan the Chinchilla administration has negotiated with Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Much of the money will go to attempt to reintegrate prisoners back into society, Casa Presidencial has said. In addition, some $20 million will be for training of higher ups in the security forces at the nation’s police academy.

The legislature has to approve the loan. The proposal is in keeping with Ms. Chinchilla’s belief that root causes of crime must be addressed to provide security for citizens.

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