The Government announced that more than 740 inmates were released as part of the structural improvement plan to alleviate overpopulation and overcrowding in Ecuador’s prisons.
Between December 15 and 22, 2021, the competent authorities allowed the release of 680 people deprived of their liberty and 163 more agreed to prison benefits or regime change; This occurred after the unfortunate events that occurred in the month of November where, in the midst of a prison revolt, approximately 68 inmates lost their lives.
This riot was added to those that occurred in February, July and September in various prisons in the country, which left a balance of 79, 22 and 119 dead, respectively, these events highlighted the harsh situation that the prison system is going through, plagued by of corruption, overcrowding and dominated by gangs linked to drug trafficking.
By October 2021, prison overcrowding in prisons nationwide was estimated to be around 28%, since the centers housed around 38,700 prisoners, while their maximum capacity was 30,000, this forced the authorities to analyze the cases of each PPL with the aim of advancing or reducing their sentence.
The release of these prisoners was mainly in the detention centers in the provinces of Azuay, Cotopaxi, Guayas and Manabí, with these actions it is expected to reduce overcrowding, strengthen the security, well-being and protection of people deprived of freedom, and thus comply with the provisions of the Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code.
In addition to these actions, it is expected that by 2022, the comprehensive criminal census will be launched in the 36 centers in the country, in collaboration with institutions such as the National Service for Comprehensive Care for Adults Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI), the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC); the Civil Registry; the Human Rights Secretariat; the Criminalistics Unit of the National Police and the Directorate of the Technical Body of the National Social Rehabilitation System.