Colombia’s new national prison director wants to allow every prisoner in the country to use the internet access and a cell phone, arguing that phones are already common in prisons and legalization would cut corruption.
“The information I have is that cell phones are entering prisons. If this measure is approved, it would generate less corruption,” the director, Evelio Henao Ospina, told Caracol Radio.
Perhaps the most famous prisoner to have unlimited, though only tacitly authorized access to telephones was drug lord Pablo Escobar, who during his captivity in the hilltop farm known as ‘La Catedral’ in the early 1990s continued running his drug operation by phone, according the book “Killing Pablo.”
Ospina also proposed directly attacking prison corruption by creating an anticorruption hotline to report irregular activities by officials of INPEC, the government prison organization.
Further, the new director urged increasing virtual hearings to limit the excessive transfers of prisoners. The suggestion came the same day as it was announced extradited paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso would testify from his U.S. prison in a ‘parapolitics’ case against a liberal senator.
“Part of the principle is that an incarcelated person should be in a place near their family and judicial authority. This would assure that no one is transfered without good reason,” he said.