September 14, 2010

Das etwas andere Gefängnis

Die Zeitschrift Independent review berichtet in ihrer Frühjahrsausgabe über ein sozusagen "selbstverwaltetes" Gefängnis: San Pedro in La Paz, Bolivien. Ein Auszug:

"San Pedro Prison sits in downtown La Paz, Bolivia. Like correctional facilities in the United States, it has tall, concrete walls around it and guards who stand ominously at its gates. However, unlike prison officials in the United States, those at San Pedro do little more than prevent inmates from escaping - no guards maintain order inside the prison. The guards’ primary job is to keep the inmates inside the prison and to call the roll once a day (Romei 2003; Young and McFadden 2003, 141). Inmates do not wear uniforms; bars do not block the cell doors and windows (Estefania 2009). According to a report by the National Lawyers Guild, 'the prison administration provides no rehabilitation services, no schools, and minimal health care' (Baltimore et al. 2007, 24). In fact, inmates must pay for any medical services they receive, and the inmates themselves provide these services (Young and McFadden 2003, 58–61). About food services, the guild reports, 'Although the prison provides a gruel-like soup and bread twice a day (and meat twice a week), prisoners report that it tastes bad and causes ulcers and hepatitis. Therefore all those who can afford it purchase or cook their own food. The kitchen itself was filthy, and the prisoners working in the kitchen were there as a three month form of unpaid punishment, so they had no incentive to do their job well' (Baltimore et al. 2007, 24). A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concurs that the 'food is not properly prepared, which might lead in many cases to epidemics and gastrointestinal infections, and that food is also insufficient, obliging many prisoners to pay for their own food, if they have the money to do so' (Organization of American States 2007, 54).
Designed to hold 250 inmates, San Pedro Prison now houses from 1,300 to 1,500 (Ceaser 1998; Organization of American States 2007, 49; Estefania 2009). In addition, many inmates’ wives and children also reside in the prison. Prison officials do not assign cells to inmates, who must purchase their own living quarters from other inmates. The members of this prison community must provide for themselves without assistance from their jailers."

Innerhalb des Gefängnisses gibt es sogar eine eigene Fussballmeisterschaft, die von Coca-Cola gesponsert wird; der Softdrinkmulti ist im Gegenzug zum Gefängnismonopolisten geworden: "Many sections even sponsor intersectional soccer tournaments (Baltimore et al. 2007, 24; Estefania 2009). Inmates enjoy gambling on matches between the sections’ soccer teams, so the section leaders sometimes buy nice cells in their sections for the most skilled players (Gassaway 2004). The Coca-Cola Company sponsors teams inside the prison and provides tables, chairs, and umbrellas in exchange for a monopoly of the prison’s soft drink business (Young and McFadden 2003, 233; Gassaway 2004)."

Eine Fotostrecke zu San Pedro findet man auf den Seiten der BBC. Besuchen kann man das Gefängnis übrigens auch, gegen Bares versteht sich.

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