Day 4

Today we started off at one of the oldest university, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo with Lic.Carlos N. Mesa. He spoke to us about the criminal justice system in Dominican Republic, which was very interesting to say the least.
The prison system is a little different here, the government as a lot to say when it comes to sending individuals to jail, they also discriminate against race and social economical class. A person is more likely to go to prison based of their race and social class versus the crime that was committed.
The prison system in the Dominican Republic is broken, there is little to no human rights, the prisoners do not have rights nor do they have access to health care. Majority of the crimes committed are robbery, drugs and homicide; majority of the women go to prison because of drugs.
There are over 26000 prisoners in the Dominican Republic, there are 32-34 prison facilities out of the 26000 prisoners there are 8000-9000 in the new system that is now in place. The prisons are overcrowded and to get in front of a judge it could take up to 3 years with the lack of appeal system in the Dominican Republic, is it fair to say that justice is not been served? Anyone can be at the wrong place, at the wrong time but when you do not have a justice system that is willing or have the resources to prove your innocence. How are these individuals getting a fair chance.
Our afternoon started off at Dr Pichardo’s, he took us on a walk around the community “poverty tourism” to see how people live. Out of respect for the people in the community we didn’t take any pictures. There were a lot of health and safety issues that I saw like the loose wires from the electricity poles, the way the houses were built and how close everyone lived with each other. “Unfair distribution of wellness” this statement was so powerful because as much as there are a lot of health facilities if you do not have the money you will not get any treatment, and depending on the amount you have also determines your treatment.
This trip has been eye opening to me, I know there is poverty but I have not seen poverty up close before. My goal as always been the same, to make a difference in my commune and country but there is a lot of work to be done.

One thought on “Day 4

  1. Qudrat, this was one of my favorite days on the trip. Thank you for describing it so well and helping me to relive those moments

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