Survey of Individuals Deprived of Liberty: Caribbean 2016-2019: Suriname Country Report

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Research Institute For Social Sciences
Oct 2020
King, Dana Michael; Vélez-Grajales, Viviana; Marmolejo, Lina
This report presents the findings of the inmate survey, Suriname, which was conducted from November 2018. A total of 505 inmates from the adult prisons and police stations in Suriname were surveyed. The questionnaire used in the research was developed by the IDB and explored inmates experiences before incarceration, as they were processed through the criminal justice system, while they served their sentences, and as they contemplated life after being released. The average age of the participants was 34.1 years and most had attained at least some secondary or higher education. Many respondents reported experiencing violence while in the criminal justice system. Close to half (41.8 percent) experienced physical force following arrest in order to compel testimony. A significant majority of respondents (70.5 percent) reported witnessing other inmates beaten in detention; by other inmates (79.8 percent), prison guards (49.2 percent) and police (21.9 percent). Nearly half of respondents (45.5 percent) indicated that they had been previously incarcerated. We recommend that the Government of Suriname increase efforts to strengthen internal reporting mechanisms, investigate acts of misconduct, and impose consequences for violence inside the prison. Further, we recommend that the government and prison administrators invest in rehabilitation and reintegration programs during and following incarceration to reduce recidivism rates, as well as exploring expansion of alternatives to incarceration, particularly for persons in pre-trial detention.