COPCAT Shorts: The Value of Internal Inspection

“Monitoring and inspection mechanisms shed a fresh and critical light on institutions which, by their very nature, are closed environments, and therefore require particular efforts to counter the risk of abuse. The basic function of monitoring and inspecting prisons, whether internal or external, should be seen against this background.
… rule 83 of the Nelson Mandela Rules provides for a twofold system for regular inspections of prisons, which is to consist not only of external inspections conducted by a body independent of the prison administrations, but also of internal or administrative inspections to be conducted by the central prison administration.
In the light of the above, the overall purpose of this checklist is to assist Member States in conducting internal or administrative inspections to assess compliance of their national prison systems with the Nelson Mandela Rules, and thus to facilitate the practical application of the Rules at national level.”

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Assessing compliance with the Nelson Mandela Rules – A checklist for internal inspection mechanisms (2017), excerpts from pages 2-3.

Read UNODC’s Nelson Mandela Rules checklist in English and French.

Internal Inspection document

Read UNODC’s Brochure on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) in English and French.

UNODC Mandela Brochure

Explore UNODC’s instructional placards on the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Consult UNODC’s numerous other justice and prison reform publications and tools.