The National Penitentiary Institute of Peru (Spanish: Instituto Nacional Penitenciario, INPE) is the government agency charged with incarcerating convicts and suspects charged with crimes. It is part of the Peruvian government's Ministry of Justice. The Inspector General of Prisons was first established by Article 26 of the Penal Code of 1924. After becoming Inspector General on March 28, 1928, Dr. Bernardino León y León launched major reforms and changed the title to Director General of Prisons. In 2009, the prison population totaled 44,800 inmates (0.15% of the national population), though the nation's prisons were built for a capacity of 22,540. 2,794 of the inmates were women. Only 17,297 of the inmates have been sentenced in court, while many of the rest are held in pretrial detention at police stations and judiciary buildings. Most pretrial detainees are held with convicted prisoners. Because of understaffing, guards leave the internal operation of large prisons, including the management of commerce, to taitas, the bosses among the inmates. With more prisoners and fewer prison guards and facility room, it also decreases the amount of time, money and space that can be used for programs to help inmates rehabilitate and reintegrate into society; but it increases a risk in security issues More information...

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