Congolese prison facts of the day

makala
Image via Chimp Reports

Life isn’t easy anywhere in the DRC, least of all in its prisons.  Some snapshots of Makala Prison, the largest detention center in Kinshasa:

  • The prison currently houses 8600 inmates in a space designed for 1500 (source)
  • Only 500 inmates have been convicted, while the rest are in pre-trial detention due to the exceptionally slow movement of the judicial system (source)
  • Most prisoners are fed by their families.  Eleven prisoners who presumably lacked family support recently starved to death after the government stopped providing food or medication from October 2019 – January 2020 (source)
  • In 2017, over 4200 inmates escaped in the country’s largest-ever prison break (source)
  • A number of inmates were granted presidential clemency at the end of 2018, but 80% of them opted to remain in at the prison because they would have been homeless if they left (source)

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