March 19th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court (Sala IV), ordered the Ministry of Justice to not accept any more prisoners to the La Reforma prison due to overcrowding.
The ruling states that not “a single additional prisoner” can be put in the prison.
Minister of Justice, Fernando Ferraro sees a problem, however, as while the Constitutional Court has ordered that no additional prisoners can be accepted, criminal judges continue to sentence criminals to prison.
Ferraro added, “Certainly the situation is complicated, not only because of the issue of overpopulation, but the consequences (of not incarcerating criminals.)”
Ferraro said that construction would begin this year of two new modules at La Reforma, plus five more nationally. “(The construction) will begin and end this year. We will also make a module for young adults, those between 10 and 21 years of age,” he said.
However, Ferraro said that the additional modules at La Reforma would not be enough to end the issue of overcrowding at that prison.
Riots have broken out at the prison in the past, many as a result of overcrowding, including a riot in October, 2012.