1,500 gallons of alcohol; 73 long guns; 32 explosive, fragmentation and blast grenades; 13,762 steel-edged weapons; and other prohibited items as of Oct. 1, 2014. These seizures were only the “tip of the iceberg,” because every single action also detected illegal acts inside the prisons, such as cockfights, musical performances and even horse racing. This reflected the unlimited power and control the criminal groups used to have inside the walls of [Chihuahan prisons], enough to even plan and order kidnappings, extortions and other crimes.The self-governing internal economy of Chihuahuan prisons was legendary so news of ACA accreditation, to me, is stunning. The professionalization of Mexican corrections, if sustained, would be a huge development, especially if other states replicate Chihuahua's model. Change can't come too soon.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Chihuahuan prisons achieve ACA accreditation, end self-regulation by convicts
Read a feature story and editorial from Corrections Today on the transformation of prisons in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which includes the city of Juarez across the river from El Paso and shares borders with Texas and New Mexico. Over the last four years, funded through US grants via the Merida Initiative, they've made the shift from "self-governed" facilities ruled internally by convicts to being accredited by the American Correctional Association, a task which took about three years to renovate all facilities and hire and train staff. Since then prison authorities have seized: