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Vice Speaker concerned with prison overcrowding

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - More concern is being raised about the poor conditions of the local prison. Vice speaker BJ Cruz sent a letter to attorney general Leonardo Rapadas and Department of corrections director Jose San Agustin regarding prison overcrowding. His letter also cites the recent lawsuit filed by federal detainee Jason Daniels alleging substandard conditions at the Hagatna lockup, however Cruz points out that facility is not the only concern. He states, "Guam's current prison population is at 617 with 595 incarcerated in the Adult Correctional Facility.  Of the 617 making up the prison population, 350 are detainees.  Originally, the prison was built to hold 234 inmates; therefore, we are currently more than double its capacity.  Exacerbating this problem is that it costs an average of $97.71 per inmate per day to keep them incarcerated."

Cruz expresses his interest to learn how proceedings toward expediting written judgments for signature from judges to enable detainees to serve a term of imprisonments or attain their releases. He is also curious about the steps taken to deport detainees that have violated the law.  

The Vice speaker adds, "We need to be proactive about resolving this issue or we could be facing the dire consequences of another Federal Receivership."

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