• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica court orders better prison beds for conjugal visits

June 16, 2015

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

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador
El Salvador
4 views
El Salvador
4 views

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador

The Tico Times - May 6, 2021

Some 20 former presidents of Spain and Latin America, including Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox from Mexico, and Álvaro Uribe…

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway
Costa Rica
8 views
Costa Rica
8 views

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

Renovation and expansion of the runway at La Managua Airport in Quepos began Wednesday and will completed before September. "The…

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’
Latin America
6 views
Latin America
6 views

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’

Ariela NAVARRO / AFP - May 6, 2021

PAHO, the Americas office of the World Health Organization (WHO), warned on Wednesday that hospitals in the region are "dangerously…