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Improving the prison system

An escaped inmate database is vital for the Mexican criminal justice system
Mexican prison - Photo: Edgar Garrido/EL UNIVERSAL
28/01/2018
09:06
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Today this news outlet publishes that, as incredible as it may sound, the prison system in Mexico doesn't have a national database for those who have escaped from jail.

Regardless of whether they had been sentenced or were waiting for a trial in either federal or state prisons, lacking something so elemental – and simple – as a list of escaped prisoners should be considered one of the priorities by our authorities, as this surely impacts on our impunity and violence rates and because this is another negative element that adds to the growing impairment of the overall criminal justice system, and the federal and local prison systems, specifically.

It's vital to have an escaped inmate database as this would provide a nation-wide warning about escaped prisoners that could increase the probability of them being recaptured.

Although the National Security Commission has announced they are already working on this database – which could be ready by April and be stored at Mexico's Platform – we don't understand how we have come this far without this record.

For this purpose, officials of the National Security Commission will meet tomorrow with authorities of all Mexican states to gather all cases and propose the standardization of the information. Moreover, they announced they are also working on a website were data, main characteristics, and photographs of wanted prisoners will be available for both, authorities and the general public.

We hope these plans are effectively launched and implemented, as this would not only make recapturing escaped prisoners easier, they could also be helpful for other tasks within the prison system.

These measures, apparently aimed towards a modernization of the criminal justice system in Mexico, while urgent, should go hand-in-hand with a purge of all criminal collusion and corrupt practices, which are the essence of the problem and the probable cause of an inmate escaping from prison.

In other words, let's root out a problem, let's prevent prisoners from escaping.

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