Deputy Ascencio asks government to take more active role in prison crisis

Ascencio, who is a member of the Human Rights Commission and the Lower House, has said that "demands being made by the gendarme officials are legitimate".

18 de Mayo de 2009 | 14:38 | El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- Deputy Gabriel Ascencio (DC), who is a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Lower House, has given his support to the national demonstration being held today by national prison guard officials claiming the government has failed to fulfil several of its committments.

In Ascencio's opinion, "the situation should be an opportunity to focus on the penitentiary crisis that, if left unresolved, could generate serious conflicts and further tragedies similar to those that have already occurred" referring to the fire at Colina II, where seven inmates died.

The deputy expressed specific concern regarding prison overpopulation, scarce rehabilitation and social reinsertion programs, as well as the "horrible conditions under which guards have to work throughout the nation".

Ascencio also claimed that "the State should assume a more decisive and fundamental role in this crisis".

The deputy also stated that "the prison guard officials' demands are legitimate and are the result of the need to modernize this service and create adequate conditions so that they can do their job".

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