By Sam Tabory

A presidential decree that grants amnesty to low-level drug offenders and other special prison populations is a much needed step towards prison reform in Bolivia. However, it falls short of offering a system-wide policy solution to overcrowded and inhumane prison conditions.

Source: Flickr CC Danielle Pereira

Citing humanitarian concerns regarding overcrowding, Bolivia's Congress approved the expansion and extension of a presidential decree that will allow for the release of special prison populations including the elderly, the terminally ill, adolescents, and pregnant women. The decree also extends amnesty to minor and first-time drug trafficking offenders who have served at least a quarter of their sentence, reported La Razon.

Prison authorities estimate that nearly 1,300 inmates will benefit from the amnesty measure. 

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Danielle Pereira