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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70608 Find in a Library
Title: Brief Glance at the Penitentiary Situation in the Ivory Coast (From Crime Prevention and Planning, P 55-87, 1974 - See NCJ-70605)
Author(s): M Amiot
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 34
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This summary of the Ivory Coast penitentiary system covers numbers and types of prisoners, escape data, prison deaths, prisoner labor, personnel, and budgets, and recommendations for improvements.
Abstract: The Ivory Coast has 31 penitentiaries for adults and 1 rehabilitation center for juveniles. Five institutions in some major cities contain over 50 percent of the prison population. About 97 percent of all prisoners are adult males, 62 percent are convicted offenders, and 38 percent are persons awaiting trial. The prison population increased from 3,700 to 6,900 from 1966-1974, causing serious overcrowding in many institutions. Prison sentences tend to be preferred by judges over fines or other penalties because many offenders are poor and without homes. Although most sentences are short, they cause courts and prisons a great administrative burden. Most crimes are petty thefts committed out of need; escape rates vary according to the prison. The death rate of prisoners is high, about 1 death per month per 100 prisoners, but 60 percent of these deaths occur in the penal colony at Bouake. About 65 percent are caused by malnutrition exacerbated by poor prison conditions and lack of medical care. The prisons employ about 300 staff, the average ratio of inmates to on-duty staff being 100 to 1. However, efforts are presently being made to expand prison staffs. Prison officers have no unions, must have a high school diploma, and are civil servants. Ninety percent of Ivory Coast inmates are completely idle due to a lack of personnel to train and supervise them. The Ivory Coast prison system has an annual budget of $785,000, most of which is used for inmates' food; the average of $.35 per day allotted for prisoner upkeep is deemed inadequate for good health. Ten categories of recommendations delineated address overcrowding, the inadequate prisons budget, the high prisoner death rate in some prisons, poor prison recordkeeping, and other problems. Tables, figures and footnotes are included. For related papers, see NCJ 70605.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Correctional reform; Incarceration; Inmates; Ivory Coast
Note: Paper presented at the Fourth West African Conference in Comparative Criminology, April 25, 26, 27, 1974, Abidjan, The Ivory Coast, South Africa
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