Costa Rica court orders better prison beds for conjugal visits
If people get squeamish at the thought of sleeping in hotel beds, image this: Prisoners at La Reforma penitentiary sued for nicer mattresses for their conjugal visits. And the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court agreed.
The prisoners complained in case 15-005871-0007-CO that the mattresses in the rooms where conjugal visits take place are so unhygienic that they “put the health of [prisoners and their visitors] at risk.”
Prison administrators acknowledged that the conditions are, um, less than ideal. Despite agreeing that the mattresses were dangerously gross, the prison had not taken action to make improvements. Administrators claimed there was not enough padding in the budget to improve the mattresses. No date was given for when the resources would be made available.
The Constitutional Chamber, also known as Sala IV, was not impressed. The seven judges noted that the state must ensure that prisoners’ basic needs —health, security and well-being — are met even if they are incarcerated.
“In this context, this court believes it necessary to intervene to guarantee the fundamental rights of prisoners and their partners, as well as protect the conditions of their environment, as in this particular case, the conjugal visit rooms,” read the decision.
The Sala IV ordered the Alajuela prison to improve the conditions in three months from June 10.
No word yet on access to a red shirt to throw over the lamp.
You may be interested
First PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa RicaAlejandro Zúñiga - October 19, 2018
Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month. The event, scheduled…
The energy of soundAlissa Grosskopf - October 19, 2018
“Sound is vibration, vibration is energy and that energy is light,” said Costa Rican musician Carlos "Tapado" Vargas. Apart from…
Human rights defender Alvaro Leiva: ‘There is a permanent darkness in Nicaragua’Katherine Stanley - October 19, 2018
When Alvaro Leiva took the stage at a recent fundraiser for Nicaraguan refugees and immigrants in Costa Rica, all eyes…