Our Mission

Approximately 31 percent of the global prison population is currently serving under a pretrial detention status. In the Dominican Republic, that figure is well above the average at 70 percent. In many cases, pretrial detainment and preventive prison are political tools used to silence opponents critical of regimes that have adopted hardline authoritarian tactics.

Through education, awareness-raising, and policy advocacy, we aim to promote a transparent and fair justice system in the DR and bring accountability to international criminal justice and humanitarian violations.

La Victoria Prison in Santo Domingo, DR.

Our mission is to raise awareness so that we can end the excessive use of preventive detention in the Dominican Republic.

Our Principles

  • Preventive imprisonment violates the presumption of innocence, the foundation of a fair criminal justice system.
  • Preventive imprisonment subjects the accused to particularly harsh conditions while they await a trial and inhibits their ability to mount a competent defense.
  • Preventive imprisonment contributes to overcrowding in correctional facilities, exacerbating desperate situations where public health crises, abuse, and other humanitarian concerns are rampant.
  • Preventative imprisonment violates international human rights standards, including the United Nations Standards Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

About the Hispanic Leadership Fund

The Dominican Justice Initiative is a project of the Hispanic Leadership Fund (HLF). HLF is a nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening working families by advancing commonsense public policy solutions that advance our fundamental principles of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity.

HLF advocates on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, before regulatory agencies and in court, to promote its core principles and work with legislators to defend and strengthen the American Dream.