Boston, MA, Monday, 8 August, 2016 — Twelve Mexican correctional facilities were today presented with certificates recognizing their international accreditation by the American Correctional Association (ACA) during the organization’s Conference of Correction, hosted in this U.S. city from August 5th to 10th. A further five Mexican correctional facilities were presented with re-accreditation certificates, demonstrating their continued compliance with the ACA’s internationally-accepted standards on prison management.
Tobin Bradley, Director, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), from the United States Embassy in Mexico expressed his delight with Monday’s announcements. “The accreditations announced today reflect the commitment of these 17 Mexican penitentiaries to follow international best practices in prison management and reinsertion programs. This brings the total number of Mexican correctional facilities that have achieved ACA accreditation with assistance from the U.S. Embassy to 42.”
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico supports efforts by the government of Mexico and the Mexican Agency for the Administration of the Correctional System, Prevention and Reinsertion (OADPRS by its Spanish acronym) to reform the Mexican penal system through capacity building, technical assistance, and equipment donations delivered under the Mérida Initiative. The cornerstone of this support centers on assisting Mexican federal and state penitentiaries to become internationally accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA).
Achieving international accreditation is a pathway to better-run, safer, and more secure correctional establishments. We work with Mexican federal and state penitentiaries, on average for 6-12 months, to ensure they are prepared to meet international standards and to achieve ACA accreditation.” Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission 2015 Report found that four of the top five highest-scoring state facilities were ACA-accredited.
Since 2009, under the Merida Initiative the U.S. government has delivered approximately US $30 million in capacity building, technical assistance, and equipment to support correctional reform in Mexico. The U.S. government plans to assist Mexico in achieving accreditation for all of its federal correctional facilities by 2017, with a long term goal of achieving accreditation for all of Mexico’s 387 federal and state correctional facilities.
The 12 Mexican penitentiaries that were accredited by the ACA at its 2016 Conference of Correction are:
1. CEFERESO 11, CPS Hermosillo
2. CEFERESO 12, CPS Guanajuato
3. CEFERESO 13, CPS Oaxaca
4. CEFERESO 14, CPS Durango
5. CEFERESO 15, CPS Chiapas
6. CERESO Guanajuato, Guanajuato
7. CEVASEP II, Ciudad de Mexico
8. CERESO 1, Chiapas
9. CERESO Texcoco, Estado de Mexico
10. CERESO Femenil, Piedras Negras
11. Centro de Internamiento Especial para Adolescentes, Palma Sola (Veracruz)
12. CEFERESO 9 Norte, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
The 5 Mexican penitentiaries that were re-accredited by the ACA at its 2016 summer Conference of Correction are:
1. CEFERESO 5 “Oriente,” Villaldama, Veracruz
2. CERESO El Hongo II, Baja California
3. CERESO Femenil 1 Aquiles Serdán, Chihuahua
4. CERESO 4 Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua
5. CERESO 5 Casas Grandes, Chihuahua
Mexican penitentiary facilities seeking ACA accreditation must meet 4 mandatory core standards and 90% of 97 non-core standards in the areas of: safety, security, order, nutritional and health care, reinsertion programs and activities, administration and management, and justice. Facilities must demonstrate compliance with these standards during the three-year accreditation period.
The Mérida Initiative is a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States. Since its signing in 2008, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico. It has provided tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, helped to counteract the illegal trade in narcotics, and strengthened border security. To date, the Mérida Initiative has delivered more than USD 1.4 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.