Crime and imprisonment

Morocco is one of the countries with a large prison population totalling about 60,000 prisoners. There are all kinds of prisoners from drug dealers and violent criminals. Since the bomb attacks in Casablanca on May 16th, 2003, there have been prisoners considered as terrorists or with links to terrorist organisations. There were three major occasions in which up to 50,000 prisoners were freed. But in short time, prisons become again overcrowded with the same or new prisoners.

Morocco is planning to build new prisons to cope with overcrowding. It doesn’t seek to be soft on petty crimes or on people suspected of being sympathetic to terrorism or planning terrorist attacks. Currently there are about 2,000 prisoners that have been tried or being tried for terrorism charges.

At the same there are still criminals at large as the security forces is understaffed in comparison of the areas it should cover.

The latest news about prisons in Morocco is the escape of nine Islamist prisoners convicted of terrorist offences.

This will be a reason for the Moroccan authorities to be more vigilant. But at the same time the efforts of the security forces is now more centred on would be terrorists who are more dangerous than ordinary criminals.

The issue of prisons isn’t limited just of the number of prisoners and the expediency to arrest people. It has above all to do with human rights. In democratic countries, people are arrested for their felonies like murder and theft. In other countries where there is no democracy, people are also arrested for their opinions. The police use all means to arrest them, sometimes with trial, sometimes they are left to linger in prisons without being taken to court.

There are also the conditions of the prisoners who live in crowded and squalid prison. They are offered no means for rehabilitation. They spend their sentences just locked.

The reasons to imprison and release has to do with common laws. There is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights apparently adopted by all UN member countries. But still each country has its laws which determine the length of the sentences and the cases a person should be taken to prison.

The issue of prisons isn’t limited just of the number of prisoners and the expediency to arrest people. It has above all to do with human rights. In democratic countries, people are arrested for their felonies like murder and theft. In other countries where there is no democracy, people are also arrested for their opinions. The police use all means to arrest them, sometimes with trial, sometimes they are left to linger in prisons without being taken to court.

There are also the conditions of the prisoners who live in crowded and squalid prison. They are offered no means for rehabilitation. They spend their sentences just locked.

The reasons to imprison and release has to do with common laws. There is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights apparently adopted by all UN member countries. But still each country has its laws which determine the length of the sentences and the cases a person should be taken to prison.

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