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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Nasim Chatha

How the US Imposes the Worst of Its Prison Paradigm Abroad

by Nasim Chatha, Truthout 

The new federal penitentiary in Santa Barbara, Honduras, occupies a strip of land between a highway and cloudy, forested hills. "El Pozo," or The Pit, as it's known, is surrounded by barbed wire and has two additional checkpoints beyond the first gate. It's a maximum-security facility, one of three that have popped up since 2009. Before these were built, Honduras had no maximum-security prisons. El Pozo is one of the products of a United States international prison management program that infuses Latin American penitentiary cultures with some of the most inhumane aspects of US prison systems, and provides no benefit in terms of real security. 

At least $22 million have been devoted to a US international prison program focused mainly on Central American prisons. This program operates out of a web of government offices and programs, most prominently the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US State Department. Because of the extent to which information is classified, it is difficult to track exactly what prison management entails, but it's clear that the US has in some way been involved in the prison systems of at ...


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