terça-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2017

PRI's international round-up of criminal justice news for November 2017

November 2017
Welcome to Penal Reform International's monthly e-newsletter, a round-up of PRI and other penal reform news from a variety of criminal justice and human rights resources around the world.

The views expressed in the news items below are not necessarily those of PRI.

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In this month's edition:

Photo: Keith Pattison

Saturday 25th November was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. To mark the occasion, PRI live-streamed a performance of award-winning play Key Change from the Open Clasp Theatre Company. The play was devised with women in HMP Low Newton prison in the UK, and originally toured in male prisons, but was also performed at the UK Houses of Parliament and on Broadway in New York. The performance can be watched here for free until 10th December.

We also published a blog that looks at why (and how) violence against women caught up in criminal justice systems is as prevalent as ever. The blog draws on our previous research with Linklaters on Women who kill in response to domestic violence, as well as our report on the added value of the Bangkok Rules.

The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Ghassan Salamé, released a statement to mark the day. In this, he addressed the arbitrary detention of women and girls in prisons without female guards. 

Tweet of the month


After 2 days of intense training in Kenya  hearing some gr8 ideas on how to implement UN #BangkokRules from prison & probation officers w/ @PenalReformInt #womeninprison #cjreform 16 November 2017

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New expert blogs

Female imprisonment list shows a rise in number of women in prison globally
The Institute for Criminal Policy Research(ICPR) has published its fourth edition of the World Female Imprisonment List. In this expert blog, Catherine Heard, Senior Research Fellow at the ICPR, looks at the findings, which show that the female prison population has risen by about 53 per cent since 2000. There are more than 714,000 women and girls currently in prison around the world. (Photo: Karla Nur). 
Prisoner transportation in Russia: travelling into the unknown
Heather McGill recently authored a report for Amnesty International on prisoner transportation in Russia. In this expert blog for PRI, Heather discusses her findings, looking in particular at the overcrowded train carriages that Russian prisoners find themselves forced into – transportation that the European Court of Human Rights has previously ruled as equating to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The report can be read here. (Photo: Ernest Mezak).

Conditions in detention and Nelson Mandela Rules

PRI holds joint consultation on preventing violent extremism in prison

Along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), PRI's Middle East and North Africa office hosted a consultation with international experts and practitioners to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and good practice in addressing violent extremism in prison. Experts from over 13 countries agreed that security measures alone cannot be the answer to violent extremism.

Read PRI's briefing on Children and violent extremism here.

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture signs monitoring agreement with International Criminal Court
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) will assist in the monitoring of persons sentenced by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT, welcomed the agreement and said that 'it is important that international tribunals live up to the high standards that they demand of States in upholding individual rights'.

No simple ecological explanation for prison suicide, says study
Research published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal has found no clear link between overcrowding in prisons and prison suicides. The report concluded that prison suicides 'are likely to be the result of a complex interaction of different factors, and not merely due to the prison environment'.
The HIV Prevention 2020 Road Map was prepared through a consultative process that brought together more than 40 countries and organisations. It aims to reduce new infections by 75 per cent and calls on increased access to comprehensive HIV prevention services for prisoners.

Click here to read a PRI blog that looks at the need to tackle HIV in prisons in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Committee for the Prevention of Torture calls for an end to mechanical restraints in Spain 

In its most recent report on Spain, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture has called for an end of the resort to mechanical fixation of inmates. This involves inmates being fixed to a bed for prolonged periods without adequate supervision and recording; in some cases, this was used punitively. Rule 47 of the Nelson Mandela Rules prohibits instruments of restraint which are 'inherently degrading or painful'.

Poor conditions in Moldovan prison are a recurrent problem

The European Court of Human Rights found a breach of Article 3 (a violation of the prohibition of ill-treatment) in a Moldovan prison this month, in a case where the applicant submitted that he was detained in a cold, overcrowded cell with no natural light or ventilation. In finding a breach, the Court noted that it had already indicated to the State authorities in a 2016 case that it was to adopt measures to improve conditions in the prison. A press release for the judgment can be found here.
Click here for more news and resources on conditions in detention 

Women in the criminal justice system

PRI delivers training to correctional officers in Kenya on UN Bangkok Rules

On 14–16 November, PRI co-facilitated a training workshop for 23 prison and probation officers in Kenya on the UN Bangkok Rules, alongside trainers from Nairobi’s Langata Women’s Prison. The all-female group of participants were taken through modules on a range of issues for women offenders, including healthcare, safety and security, addressing violence against women, and alternatives to imprisonment.

Asked how they will implement the learning, one participant commented that 'I will give prisoners information at admission, and also change the first impression of prisons… I will ask them the information we need and let them think about their answers for 5–10 minutes, and generally be more friendly.'

Another officer emphasised that through the workshop she had 'learnt I need to emphasise good relationships with prisoners', citing dynamic security as a new tool.

The training was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency(SIDA), under a programme run by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.
VIDEO: What I learned serving time for a crime I didn't commit

Teresa Njoroge, founder of Kenyan-based enterprise Clean Start, gave a talk for TEDWomen on how her experiences during her false imprisonment in Kenya made her want to mend the broken system.

Women who use drugs: Issues, needs, responses, challenges and implications for policy and practice

This new report from the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction(EMCDDA) focuses on the gendered implications of drug use. An evidence-based review summary of the report can be found here.

'Getting "life", by saving my life'

Sharon Richardson, a survivor of domestic violence, was sentenced to 20 years to life for killing her abusive boyfriend. She talks about her experiences, as well as attempts in the US to pass a Domestic Violence Survivors Act, which aims to change the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence survivors who act to protect themselves and their families from an abuser.

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative: Call for information on physical searches of women prisoners

Body searches, including pat-down searches, strip searches and invasive body searches in custody, is a practice that can seriously undermine a person’s dignity. That is why the Bangkok Rules, and now also the Mandela Rules, give guidance on conducting body searches. Bangkok Rule 20 calls for alternative screening methods to be developed, and Bangkok Rule 21 specifically calls for alternatives to be used to better safeguard women prisoners’ dignity.

Pilot projects for use of body scanners as replacements to physical searches in prison have been developed in some countries, including USA, Australia and Northern Ireland, in the last decade. However, there are few studies on their safety and any effects on the health of prisoners.

At present, there is no comprehensive written policy in India that addresses these issues, so, at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, we are hoping to draft a policy which would include certain safeguards and prerequisites for conducting such searches (drawing on international law, e.g. that searches should be subject to the principles of proportionality, legality and necessity, per the Mandela and Bangkok Rules). There should be explicit safeguards to ensure prisoners’ dignity is protected. Without safeguards and technological advances, we are allowing authorities to have full discretion to trample the dignity of women inside prisons under the garb of ‘thorough’ searches.

If you are aware of the policies for body searches of women prisoners in your countries, we would appreciate if you could share these with us, to assist us in preparing the policy. Please email these to prisons@humanrightsinitiative.org and intern@penalreform.org. Many thanks!

Other news and resources

: A call to stop state-sponsored violence against women in Iran
Justice for children

EU forum on the rights of the child focuses on children deprived of their liberty

PRI recently attended the 11th European Forum on the rights of the child, an annual conference organised by the European Commission. This year's topic was devoted to children deprived of their liberty and alternatives to detention.

Drawing from @visualityEU

Proposed use of electric shock weapons in Brazilian juvenile detention facilities

A proposed bill in Brazil seeks to authorise the use of electric shock weapons in juvenile detention facilities and during the transfer of juvenile detainees. The Omega Research Foundation has provided a comprehensive technical note alongside another human rights organisation, Justiça Global, to analyse the proposals from a human rights and international law perspective.

New campaign site on children's rights and deprivation of liberty

Child Rights International Network has launched a new campaign site on children in detention. The website outlines the figures of children detained around the world as well as explaining how individuals can use the law to challenge child detention in their own country.

Other news and resources

300 Palestinian children held in Israel jails
Syria: Male rape and sexual torture in detention in the Syrian war
United KingdomAnnual report by prisons' watchdog finds that staff shortages are leaving 12 to 18-year-olds locked up for nearly 24 hours a day
USA: Why does Maryland try so many juvenile offenders as adults?
Death penalty abolition and life imprisonment

When prison means life: child lifers and the pain of imprisonment
197 child life sentences were handed down in the United Kingdom between 2006 and 2016. In this article, David Scott from The Open University's Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative examines how children are dealt with by the criminal justice system and advocates for the abolition of life imprisonment for children.

Other news and resources

BangladeshCourt upholds death penalty for 139 soldiers
IndiaBill to be proposed would allow death penalty for rape of children
Iran: Why Iran quietly abolished death penalty for some drug crimes
MalaysiaGovernment proposes to allow court to decide on mandatory death in drug offences
Myanmar: Examining drug policies across Southeast Asia
USAJustice at last for the youngest inmates?
Pre-trial justice
The Incarceration Nations Network has produced a short film on pre-trial detention. The film links the disproportionate number of poor individuals detained without conviction and the prominence of outdated systems, such as cash bail.

The film complements previous work done by the Prison Policy Initiative on how cash bail perpetuates a cycle of poverty and jail time.

New York Times piece has also documented the work of the Bronx Freedom Fund, a small charity that has donated bail money to thousands of poor New Yorkers charged with crimes.

Other news and resources 

Canada: Ontario Unveils New Bail Directive to Reduce Pre-Trial Custody
CanadaBlack people in pre-trial detention longer than white people in Ontario, data show
United KingdomLegal aid for prisoners will be restored for three key categories of claims
United Kingdom15 per cent of prisoners behind bars in Scotland are held on remand
USAPlea bargains save time and money, but are easily abused
USAReport – State of pretrial justice in America 2017
MexicoPreventative detention and arraigo: Mexico's attack on human rights – analysis
New ZealandNumber of prisoners on remand has doubled since 2013
Drug policy
new report from the Drug Policy Alliance focuses on why drug-induced homicide laws are counterproductive and inhumane. The report examines the evidence that current strategies may be intensifying, rather than helping, the problem, and increasing the rates of overdose deaths. 

Other news and resources

Indonesia: Indonesia's fatal war on drugs
Nigerian Prison Service commences free drug distribution to 65,000 inmates
USATo end opioid crisis, we must do more than 'just say no' (Vera Institute of Justice)
Conditions in detention

News and resources:

Afghanistan: Watchdog horrified at conditions in prisons
BrazilPrison riot in southern Brazil leaves two dead
BrazilBrazil is giving prisoners ayahuasca as part of their rehab
Costa RicaPresidential candidates hold debate in prison, to those entitled to vote
Ethiopia: Persons held in connection with 2016 prison inferno being tortured
IndonesiaRiot in super maximum security island prison sees one dead
ItalyThe nursery pulling down the walls of prison
MoroccoUN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture concludes first visit
PhilippinesOvercrowded prison sees two dead in riot over spilt water
RomaniaPrisoners released due to overcrowded conditions
United KingdomJails in Scotland less violent than in England and Wales
United KingdomRebuild of closed prison expected to begin in 2018
United KingdomThe prison where violence has more than doubled since privatisation
United KingdomViolence and self-harm reach record levels
Stay up-to-date with our Middle East and North Africa office

Find out more about the work that our Middle East and North Africa office has been involved in, from their latest quarterly newsletter (available in Arabic only).
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