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Costa Rica's prison system

News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your Tuesday

We hope you're reading this with a delicious Costa Rican coffee or traditional gallo pinto. Here's the Costa Rica (and regional) news you should know on Tuesday, October 27.

Costa Rica evaluates inmate health in context of COVID-19 after court order

The Ministry of Justice indicated that inmates with a health risk and who are not in danger of recidivism will be allowed to serve their sentence at home for three months.

Three inmates suffer burns, 127 evacuated during prison mutiny in San José

Three of the prisoners had burns on various parts of their bodies; others suffered respiratory problems caused by smoke.

5 questions for a Costa Rican painter: How a prison sentence sparked a passion for art

Artist Navil Leytón found his talent at the least expected place: behind bars. Now he's sharing his gifts with others.

Panama police convicted of burning teens alive in cell

Seven policemen who watched five teenagers burn to death in a juvenile detention center in Panama after firing teargas into their cell have been sentenced to prison.

Costa Rica’s justice minister: ‘We are not releasing inmates’

Costa Rica’s Justice Minister Cecilia Sánchez Romero was forced this week to defend before the Legislative Assembly the partial release of hundreds of inmates to reduce overcrowding. The program has sparked criticism from various sectors, including the Public Security Ministry.

PHOTOS: A look at maximum security in Costa Rica’s La Reforma Prison

Their reality is a 4x4-meter cell of cement and iron, where only a few rays of sunlight enter each day and where sleep comes on concrete beds. Among the inmates are leaders of rival drug gangs that have launched a violent turf war in the streets of San José’s southern and western neighborhoods, leaving a toll of 165 deaths in only nine months. Here's a look.

5 questions for a Costa Rican filmmaker – ‘It’s important to leave people thinking’

The Tico Times sat down with Esteban Ramírez at his office to talk about his influences and the challenges of his latest movie. Excerpts follow.

Few rules govern treatment of transgender prisoners in Costa Rica

There are few set criteria governing how transgender inmates should be handled by Costa Rican prisons. Many men who identify as women are sent to men's prisons.

Internationally renowned Costa Rican film ‘Presos’ to premiere back home

Esteban Ramírez, known for his films "Caribe" (2004) and "Gestación" (2009), was inspired by his father's documentary "Los Presos" (1973), about the everyday life of the inmates of a prison once located in what is now the Children's Museum in San José. The new film depicts the life of modern-day Costa Rican inmates, including positive changes that have taken place since the days of the 1973 film.

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