"If you don't die in this hell, you'll go crazy": inside a Haitian prison ruled by hunger, overcrowding and disease
Categories: SocietyBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/if-you-dont-die-in-this-hell-youll-go-crazy-inside-a-haitian-prison-ruled-by-hunger-overcrowding-and-disease
Prisoners in the National Prison of Port-au-Prince (Haiti) live, or rather exist, literally in hell: overpopulation, hunger, disease and unsanitary conditions are just a few problems of the correctional institution.
Photos of what is happening in prison are hard to believe — they are so terrible. Dozens of emaciated men with sunken cheeks and protruding ribs lie silently in Haiti's largest prison because they are too weak to stand. The corpse of a prisoner who died of malnutrition, barely covered with a tarpaulin, lies nearby. Men in an overcrowded cell are forced to sleep in makeshift hammocks attached to the ceiling, or to accommodate four people in one bed.
Overpopulation, poor nutrition and infectious diseases have led to a sharp increase in deaths among prisoners. Haiti's penal system is not coping with the influx of prisoners, and employees of the National Prison say they are trying their best to meet the needs of prisoners, but receive insufficient funding from the Government.
(17 photos in total)
Source: Daily Mail
Prisoners watch TV in an overcrowded cell.
Prisoners in a prison isolation ward.
The Haitian Prosecutor's office and human rights activists have long raised the alarm about the terrible conditions of the correctional facility.
There are 80 to 100 prisoners in the cells, which are designed for 20 people.
Some sit in cells for 22 hours a day. During rare and short walks, someone plays chess, dominoes or cards, while others, in order to somehow stay sane, simply do exercises using containers with dirty water as a weight.
About 80% of the men here have not even been found guilty of any crime yet, they have not yet been sentenced. But they have to wait for a meeting with the judge in the detention center.
Prisoners walk in a circle in the yard of the detention center.
40% of the 11 thousand prisoners in the country are kept in such terrible conditions.
Relatives line up and wait for the guards to let them through.
But not all prisoners suffer from hunger. Some lucky relatives bring food, cigarettes and other things necessary in prison.
Haiti's penal system is the most overloaded in the world. On average, prisoners have to wait up to 8 years for trial.
The prisoner puts food in a bag to share with others.
Those prisoners who are unlucky with relatives are forced to eat what they are given in prison twice a day.
One of the inmate 's tattoos reads: "After suffering comes deliverance."
Often the condemned and those who are still awaiting trial, collect the little money they have and buy a small TV or radio in a common cell.
One of the prisoners stands next to the body of a cellmate who died of exhaustion.
Clean water is also worth its weight in gold.
In prison, they are fed twice a day with a small portion of rice, oatmeal or corn porridge.
Almost all prisoners suffer from beriberi (a disease that occurs when vitamin B1 is deficient) and anemia.