Prison

This judgment by the Columbian Constitutional Court is an interlocutory decision on the unconstitutional situation in the penitentiary system in Colombia. Following verification procedures in temporary detention centres, the Court found a precarious situation and outbreaks of various diseases, including COVID-19.

In this decision, the Court ordered the Mayor's Office of Bogotá, through the District Health Secretariat, to set up health brigades in all temporary detention centres in the district, as a measure to protect the rights of people in preventive detention. The first health brigades must be carried out within ten (10) working days of the notification of this order, and continue with their periodic implementation to meet the health needs of the population detained in these centres. This until they create a permanent health system in municipal detention centres, in accordance with the provisions of Decision SU-122 of 2022. These brigades must include the care of detained migrants, the supply of medicines to detainees suffering from any illness, and dental emergencies.

In addition, the Mayor's Office of Bogotá, through the District Health Secretariat, was ordered to report to the Special Monitoring Chamber on the implementation of the first health brigades within the month following the notification of this order, through the presentation of a detailed report indicating the activities carried out, the manner in which they were carried out, the personnel who carried them out, the totality of the services provided to each person deprived of liberty, as well as the registration and identification of the more serious health cases, with the pathology presented and the protocol adopted at the point of treatment for possible follow-up.

Likewise, it must inform and justify the reason for the periodicity established for the implementation of the following health brigades and submit the corresponding report to this Chamber in the month following the implementation of each health brigade.

Reference: Constitutional Court, Auto 2365/2023 (3 October 2023).