Legal Protection

Behind the walls: health and psychosocial needs of incarcerated youth in Haiti

Diana Chamrad

Senior Technical Advisor, Vulnerable Child and Family Programs, USAID ASSIST Project/URC
Play Yard in Haiti Youth Prison

Play Yard in Haiti Youth Prison

When bumping along the streets of Port au Prince, Haiti, you don’t always think about who lives behind the building walls you see from your car.  But today, along with Daniel Joseph, the USAID ASSIST Resident Advisor in Haiti, I had a glimpse into life for 129 teenage boys living behind the walls of a juvenile prison, Centre de Reeducation des Mineurs en Conflit avec la Loi (CERMICOL). These boys range in age from 13 to 17 years and have been incarcerated for alleged crimes ranging from theft to rape and murder.  Pretrial detainment is a common occurrence with only 8 of the 129 boys having appeared before a judge, resulting in some boys imprisoned for one or two years without a court appearance.

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