Venezuela Revises Prison System

Caracas, Jan 21. -The Venezuelan government is conducting a thorough inspection of its prison system to bring order and legality in such a sensitive activity.The progressive deterioration of Venezuelan prisons is a reflection of "obstacles from the past and corruption," said in July 2011 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who noted that values should be transformed to improve the system.

To achieve this goal, the government develops a plan that began July, after creating the Ministry of Correctional Services, headed by Iris Varela.

Time seems little to address such a task, but the authorities argue that they are committed to make progress and overcome the accumulated problems to achieve their objectives.

The first stage of the Plan Cayapa Against Procedural Delay, started last January 11 in the 57 prisons in Venezuela, ended this week.

The program is an action involving the Ministry for Correctional Services in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, courts and defense lawyers in prisons countrywide in order to address each case of the prison population.

Varela said that "there are many people in prison, who are deprived of their liberty for nonsense; I say this knowingly because I know all prisons in the country. And of course, there are others, who deserve to be there, but those are the minority."

The 60 percent of prisoners have not completed their case.

A judicial process can not last more than two years, "we are working to normalize and put an end to this situation," Varela said.

When this stage ends, the government will launch a special operation to undertake major repairs in different prisons in the country.

Earlier this year, Chavez approved resources amounting to 309 million bolivars (about $ 7 million USD) for these purposes. (Prensa Latina)