On Wednesday, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro signed a law that allows 5,000 heads-of-household mothers who serve sentences for theft and narcotics cultivation or trafficking to visit their homes five days each week.
"Women prisoners are very socially excluded because they suffer gender stigmas besides their deprivation of liberty. This law aims to prevent their children from growing up without affection. If so, many of these will become criminals," Petro explained.
The act will apply only to women with sentences of less than eight years. In exchange for benefiting from it, female prisoners must provide unpaid services to their communities.
"The alternatives to imprisonment that this law provides allow to reduce recidivism and prevent social and family ties breaking. It is not by imprisoning that we can prevent violence. Societies develop themselves in freedom,” he pointed out.
Earlier this month, President Gustavo Petro proposed a health reform to aid disease prevention and treatment, improve healthcare accessibility, raise the salaries of healthcare workers, and combat corruption by eliminating payment intermediaries. pic.twitter.com/ASB4Wha14M— Project World Impact (@pwihub) February 27, 2023
The Colombian Congress approved this bill in 2021. However, at that time, right-wing President Ivan Duque rejected this initiative, alleging that crimes associated with drug trafficking must be punished only with deprivation of liberty.
The bill then passed to the Constitutional Court, which considered Duque’s arguments unfounded, allowing legislators to request this initiative’s approval again. When he served as senator, Petro backed the bill.
"What a paradox. At the time, I could not imagine that I would later pass this bill as president. May the mother prisoners join their children, may love to continue and not be interrupted by chains!" he stated.
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro to lead the Army towards a new conception of war. pic.twitter.com/rcJO7oown0— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) August 22, 2022
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