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Nicaragua: Young Offenders

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will consider financially supporting the construction of separate police holding cells for minors in Bluefields in Eastern Nicaragua as part of his Department's work in Nicaragua. (186199)

The Department for International Development (DFID) continues to be concerned about poor prison conditions in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. In September 2006, DFID provided $14,600 for a seminar in Bluefields to address this problem. The seminar brought together penal reform experts, as well as local, regional and national officials. At that meeting, Bluefield prison authorities committed to a number of actions to improve the health and sanitation conditions of prisoners. This included measures for prisoners who are minors.

DFID does not provide financial support to prison construction. Nevertheless, working in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we will continue to use our good working relationship with authorities in Bluefields to encourage them to improve prison conditions and to specifically construct separate holding cells for minors.