24 October 2013

No Progress in Cambodian Prison Facilities

Cambodia has 27 correctional institutions.

Of these just four offer on-site education and recreation for those children living with their mother's as they do time in jail.

All four of these programmes are run by NGOs not the Cambodian government.

This lack of facilities doesn't appear to faze the judges within the Cambodian court system; rather than allow pregnant women and mothers bail while they await trial, pre-trial detention, even for minor crimes, is the norm.* Diversion or bail for minor crime is most usually not an option.**

Despite the intense hardship faced by children and the pregnant in Cambodian prisons, '...hardly any steps have been taken by authorities to improve the situation...'  notes Licadho in a recent report.

*Pre-trial detention is usually a long process as the Cambodian justice system grinds along mired in corruption and incompetency. 23.3% of the Cambodian prison population are in detention awaiting their trial.

**Just three of sixty-four pregnant women in prisons monitored by Licadho were being held on something other than theft, prostitution, or drug charges.

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