Strengthening statistical capacities on penitentiary systems, necessary to improve social reintegration policies

On March 31, representatives of the national statistical offices (NSOs) of Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and the Dominican Republic met to  learn about the progress made within the framework of the Working Group (WG)  on  institutional capacities to generate statistics on penitentiary systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The WG, as part of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of ECLAC, has worked on the preparation of a document with information on resources, legal and regulatory frameworks, dissemination mechanisms, as well as the type and frequency of statistical information instruments on penitentiary systems in the   countries of the region – whether administrative records, censuses or surveys.

At the meeting, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), the coordinating agency of the WG, and the UNODC-INEGI Centre of Excellence present a summary of the content of the document. They highlighted the fundamental role of the NSOs in their relationship with penitentiary systems to produce quality statistical information, aligned with international statistical and human rights standards. In particular, Óscar Jaimes, General Director of Government, Public Security and Justice Statistics of INEGI, pointed out that the purpose of generating official statistical information on prison systems goes beyond having statistics, but it aims to improve social reintegration policies and processes.

The WG countries will continue to work on identifying challenges and opportunities, as well as exchanging experiences and good practices, to develop and strengthen statistics on penitentiary systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.