Petionville prison: level of security; number of prisoners; number of prison officers; whether prison officers carry guns; whether escapes from that prison are common; name of prison directors and wardens since 1995; names of prison officers dismissed and reasons for their dismissals [HTI38226.E]

The following information on the Petionville prison was provided by a Senior Technical Adviser to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) assistance to prison reform in Haiti.

The first civilian prison system in Haiti was established in 1995. Located in the Port-au-Prince area, the prison is staffed by 23 wardens whose status is equivalent to that of peace agents. Only one of the wardens posted at the entrance of the prison is equiped with a firearm. The is no prison security classification in Haiti and the 100 detainees at the Petionville prison are detained for minor (i.e. theft) and major (i.e. murder) offences. Many detainees have been convicted of association with criminal gangs or dealing with drugs, and some of them are of Colombian origin. The prison accommodates male and female detainees, women being detained in separate cells. Very few prison escapes were reported since 1995.

The directors (called prison inspectors in Haiti) of the Petionville prison from 1995 to 2002 are Roosevelt Jaboin (1995-1999), Dominique Spazzi (September 1999 to May 2000) and Joseph Aly (since May 2000). Roosevelt Jaboin and 10-12 prison wardens were transferred to other penal institutions for disciplinary reasons, after being remanded for illicit contacts with prison detainees.

Additional and corroborative information on the Petionville prison and the names of the wardens who were subject to disciplinary measures in 1999 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Port-au-Prince. 8 January 2001. Telephone interview with Senior Technical adviser for prison reform in Haiti.

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases


Internet sources including:

Amnesty International

Centre International d'études pénitentiaires

Human Rights Watch (HRW). Prison Project

Mission civile Internationale en Haïti

Observatoire international des prisons

World News Connection (WNC)