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Preventive prison does not guarantee that fewer crimes are committed: Senate

Victor Ballinas

Newspaper La Jornada
Monday, October 24, 2022, p. 6

Taking stock three years after the implementation of informal preventive detention in the country, the Belisario Domínguez Institute (IBD), of the Senate, indicates that there is no evidence that this measure is effective in reducing the incidence of crime, in addition that it violates human rights, such as the presumption of innocence and due process.

Researcher César Alejandro Giles reports that femicides and murders of women increased between 2020-2021 by 0.8 and 3.2 percent, respectively; sexual abuse, 23 percent, and enforced disappearance, 13 percent. Electoral crimes did so in 557 percent last year and only fuel theft, huachicol, had a decrease of 94 percent.

Other crimes, without pre-trial detention, have decreased, such as vehicle theft, which in four years decreased 40.4 percent, says Giles.

So far, adds the researcher, there is no evidence to prove the effectiveness of informal preventive detention to reduce the incidence of crime. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of people incarcerated for the crimes incorporated with the constitutional reform on preventive detention in 2019 grew. In half of these crimes, the criminal incidence also increased, which suggests that the fact that there are more people in prison does not guarantee that fewer crimes will be committed.

It details that in 2021, 1,037 people were admitted for femicide in the country’s prisons, that is, 9.5 percent more than the people incarcerated for this crime the previous year. At the end of 2021, in Mexico there were 3,433 people incarcerated for femicide.

It specifies that, according to the criminal incidence data of the common jurisdiction of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), between 2020 and 2021 femicides increased 3.2 percent, going from 948 to 979 in 2021.

The Inegi, for its part, reports that homicides of women in Mexico grew 0.8 percent, going from 3,957 to 3,991, asserts the IBD.

Likewise, between 2020 and 2021, the number of people admitted for sexual abuse registered an increase of 31.6 percent, going from 2,688 in 2020 to 3,540 in 2021.

Similarly, it says that, according to the SESNSP, in 2020, 22,377 crimes of sexual abuse were registered and in 2021, 27,713 were reported, which meant an increase of 23.8 percent.

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