• Robert Spicer

Cuban criminal justice

Under the 1987 Criminal Code, every socially dangerous action or omission, prohibited by law resulting in a penal sanction, is a punishable crime.

Social dangerousness is defined as habitual behaviour which shows a special proclivity to commit criminal acts, as demonstrated by observed conduct, which is manifestly against the norms of socialist morality. This has resonances with the British concept of anti-social behaviour, where no conviction is required for an ASBO.

There are few examples in Latin America where the criminal justice system is as fair and efficient as in Cuba.

Cuban criminal law includes offences against socialist organization, for example:

  • The misuse of employment in a state enterprise for illegal personal gain.

  • Obtaining money or property illegally channelled from a state economic entity.

  • Trading in foreign currency.

  • Attempting to leave Cuba without complying with formal emigration requirements.

Inmates in Cuban prisons are expected to complete their education to the equivalent of US high school degree level and are also expected to learn a trade.


Prisoners are obliged to work and are paid the same wage which they would expect to receive outside prison.

Prisoners are entitled to conjugal visits every two months.

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