Government extended for 180 days the intervention of the Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF) and thus ratified the continuity of the former Cassation Judge María Laura Garrigós, one of the founders of Justicia Legitima.
The measure was confirmed by Decree 428/2021, published this Friday in the Official Gazette with the signatures of President Alberto Fernández, the Chief of Cabinet, Santiago Cafiero; and the Minister of Security, Martín Soria.
More than a year ago, on June 12, 2020, the Government ordered the intervention of the Penitentiary Service after the resignation of Emiliano Blanco, who was in charge of the management for six years and left office after a violent riot in the Prison of Devoto.
However, the intervention was arranged at the time to “normalize” the operation of the Penitentiary Service that had been declared in emergency in March 2019 due to prison overcrowding, a situation that has been aggravated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The intervention of the SPF had already been extended in December of last year by Decree No. 1037/20.
The basis of the measure admits “the seriousness of the situation surveyed in the penitentiary body” and the need to “consolidate and deepen the actions initiated for the comprehensive reorganization” of the service.
However, more than a year after the appointment of Garrigós as Comptroller, the reality is that the national penalties have not undergone a great modification.
Clarion recently published a report in which it described as “critical” the state of the prison service, which houses 11,490 people deprived of their liberty.
With 94.2% occupancy and the fear that that figure will be exceeded, the building collapse is near. The transfer of the Devoto Prison, the most discussed of all, continues without progress.
The intention was to transfer the prisoners to the Marcos Paz Prison, where an expansion of the facilities had begun under the previous government. But the work was stopped, and the inmates continue in Devoto despite a habeas corpus filed that prohibits them from continuing to house prisoners there.
The first official diagnoses show an SPF that has not yet collapsed, but that is always at the limit and that could reach overpopulation if the agreements established with the city of Buenos Aires were not fulfilled.
The Service has eight complexes and 27 units in thirteen provinces. It currently has 11,490 prisoners housed in all its facilities. Its maximum capacity is to house 12,198. In other words, there are only 708 seats left over.