Lawmakers hear how $187 million loan will be put to use

Costa Rica’s plan for reforming criminals begins in prison by constructing training facilities, according to Jorge Rodríguez and Max Loría, vice ministers of Justicia y Paz. They appeared Tuesday before the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios to explain how a loan from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo will be put to use.

The loan totals $187 million, and Costa Rica will have to provide $55 million in matching money. The legislature must still approve the loan. The bank already has done so.
The money also will be used for training prison employees and for the construction of 2,700 cells to relieve overcrowding, they said.

The money also will go to create centers for young people with the goal of reducing violence. The so-called civic centers will be in Desamparados, San Carlos, Cartago Centro, Santo Domingo, Santa Cruz, Garabito and Pococí, the committee heard.

The plan includes what is being called reinsertion social, meaning putting a convict back into society at the end of his or her term behind bars.

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