TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says the 24 prisons in Honduras are controlled by inmates because the state has abandoned its responsibility for rehabilitating people convicted of crimes. The commission says one consequence of the state abandoning the prisons is the rise of so-called systems of "self-governance" that are headed by inmates known as "coordinators."
It said in a report on Honduras' overcrowded prisons released Friday that the coordinators are picked by the inmates and set rules for the prison, including disciplinary measures. Most of the complaints by inmates are against the coordinators for physically assaulting them, something that according to the commission happens "in full view of prison guards." The government says there are 12,263 people incarcerated in Honduras even though prisons can only hold 8,120 inmates.