Cape Verde’s Minister of Justice announced on Monday September 18 that the country has 2,100 prisoners, 34% more than in the last known survey, and considered it necessary to invest in the training and education of the prison population.
“We’ve had an increase in the prison population. We now have around 2,100 inmates in all the prisons nationwide,” said Joana Rosa, in Creole, at the commemoration of National Prisoners’ Week, at Praia Central Prison.
She referred to the absolute number, without a term of comparison, but according to the latest official figures released, Cape Verde had 1,328 prisoners in 2013, a figure that rose to 1,567 in 2018, spread across five regional prisons and two central prisons.
Of that total, Praia Central Prison received more than 1,100 people, concentrating two thirds of Cape Verde’s prison population.
“We have to work, as a public authority, to reduce the number of prisoners,” said the Minister of Justice, stressing that imprisonment does not only penalize those who are detained, but indicates that “the public authorities have also failed”.
According to the minister, a large part of crime is committed by young people linked to the world of drugs, who must be targeted by the authorities.
Time in prisons should prepare inmates for a return to society, through vocational training and education, he stressed.