The federal government’s drive for austerity in the 2016 budget will means less money for the federal penitentiary system.
Although Mexico’s federal prisons are over-populated, next year’s budget proposes a billion-peso reduction in funds for their administration, operation and infrastructure, from 19.37 billion pesos in 2015 to 18.31 billion in 2016 (US $1.15 to $1.1 billion).
Of the total, 16.9 billion pesos will pay for administration costs.
The cutbacks will significantly affect the upkeep and maintenance of federal penitentiaries, and follow repeated calls that have warned of the need for new facilities as the current inmate population exceeds capacity, reported Milenio.
The funds allocated to infrastructure category for 2016 total just 336 million pesos, way down from this year’s budget amount of 2.83 billion pesos.
Because of the overpopulation of federal jails some inmates are held in state prisons. The reduced budget will affect them as well, because there are no funds allocated for maintenance.
The outlook at the state level isn’t at all flattering. Of the 32 states, 20 report their jails are over-populated. According to official figures, most hold two and even three times the population for which they were originally built, resulting in overcrowding and human rights violations against inmates.
One example is the Colima state penitentiary. Built for 876 prisoners, it holds 3,613. Nayarit is next, housing 2,424 prisoners in a facility built for 962. Penitentiaries in the states of México, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Sonora and Guerrero report over-populations greater than 150%.
Source: Milenio (sp)