By Baptist Press Staff
A Baptist Press article describing prison conditions in Haiti highlights Pulitzer Center reporting on Haiti's National Penitentiary by Antigone Barton and Steve Sapienza:
The men, by contrast, are imprisoned in Haiti's notorious National Penitentiary, a facility located just a few blocks from the country's National Palace in central Port-au-Prince that was known for squalid conditions before it was largely destroyed by the Jan. 12 quake.
The prison, which played a key role in Haiti President Rene Preval's campaign to establish order in the country's gang-infested slums, was the focus of a May 2008 report by the Pulitzer Center that revealed horrific conditions: up to 67 men in a single cell, human waste covering the floors, rampant abuse and high rates of tuberculosis and HIV.
That, of course, was before the Jan. 12 earthquake collapsed much of the building, allowing as many as 5,000 prisoners to escape back into the slums.
A week ago, however, Tim Morris -- a former FBI agent providing security for a medical team in Haiti -- spent three days in the National Penitentiary. Morris was detained at the airport in Cap Haitien when police opened his gun case to inspect a shotgun and a pistol, according to the Seattle Times. Morris said he had disclosed the weapons both before departure from the United States and upon entering Haiti. Police nonetheless handcuffed Morris and took him to a prison cell that held 46 other men.