Thursday, October 21, 2010

Les Cayes Prison

Those of you who keep in the loop on all things Haitian know that there was a prison riot this past week in Port-au-Prince. Three prisoners were killed. We visited the local prison this morning and we brought medicine, mattresses (see above) and some food as they've run out for the month. The photo shows the cramped cell where minors are held. The youngest in this group of thirteen is 14 and the oldest is 18. They are locked up a minimum of 23 hours a day. There's no plumbing, only a bucket. The boys need toiletries, clothing and sandals. Sorry about the quality of the photo but it was taken surreptitiously. I asked the guys to smile for the photo and they complied-- to my amazement.
Our ministry in the prison is pretty limited. We help out as mentioned above and we offer the "condemned" (those who have seen a judge and received a sentence) a chance to become tailors. This is good but there's much more to be done.


  1. Oh my. They are so young, So much life ahead. And the conditions are cramped beyond belief. Because they are minors, is there a system in place to rehab. them and to get them out within reason?

  2. I toured the prison with Father Marc a couple of years ago. The conditions there will haunt me the rest of my life -- men packed so tightly in concrete cells that they have to take shifts lying down and coming to the front so they can see out into the courtyard. And then there's the one bucket for all the men -- poor hygiene and no privacy. They are allowed out one hour a day. What crimes did they commit to receive this inhumane treatment? Often it's only petit theft. Many of them have yet to see a judge and be charged. Someone should notify Amnesty International about the appalling conditions there.


    Barb in NM