Media Center

Press Release


  October 7, 2003

Officials responsible for penitentiary and prison policies in the Americas are preparing to convene their first-ever meeting, at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, on October 16 and 17.

Stemming from decisions by the Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the Americas and the OAS General Assembly, the meeting is intended to initiate a process of mutual cooperation to exchange information and experiences relating to the drafting, development and evaluation of public policies in this field.

The proposed dialogue among penitentiary and prison officials will help them identify current or past problems and challenges. The meeting will also provide a forum to exchange information or experiences on possible solutions. The dialogue will focus on three main themes: organization, operation and management of penitentiary and prison systems and detention centers; criminal policies and capacity-related problems in penitentiary and prison systems; and crime in prisons and the regulation, treatment and re-integration of prisoners into society.

As a follow-up to the process of cooperation that the upcoming meeting will launch, a permanent information exchange network is expected to be created, via the Internet.

Reference: E-191/03