New ICRC publication: Detention – Addressing the human cost

Human rights actors may be interested to know that the current International Review of the Red Cross (IRRC No. 903) by the ICRC is devoted to the issue of the cost of detention for the detainee, their family and community at large. Titled ‘Detention: Addressing the human costs’ the ICRC publication’s stated focus is as follows:

“Detention can take various forms, but the deprivation of liberty inevitably carries costs that fall on the detainee, their family and the community at large. These costs, both individual and collective, are often linked to other, financial costs that authorities are unwilling to incur on behalf of a group of people who are out of sight. This short-termist calculation has serious implications for prisoners today, and for our societies in the future. Objectively assessing the human, social, political and financial costs of detention policies is essential to avoid detention becoming part of the problem it was meant to solve. In this edition, the Review takes stock of developments in detention practices and policies, and focuses on a range of challenges related to maintaining human dignity in detention, including overcrowding and aging prison populations. In drawing attention to the ongoing challenges associated with detention, the Review seeks to promote the human dignity of detainees.”

The ICRC publication can be downloaded free-of-charge by clicking on the image.

Posted by mp in Places of detention, Police stations, Prisons

New to All Things OPCAT?

If you are new to the world of the OPCAT, then why not watch the following short videos (available in English and French). These animations will throw light on the basic ins-and-outs of this important UN torture prevention instrument. The videos, produced by the Geneva-based Association for the Prevention of Torture, offer a quick insight into the OPCAT. Other OPCAT-focused videos can also be found on-line (see Electronic OPCAT in menu). For the moment, however, please have a look at the following:

Posted by mp in OPCAT, Ratification

New Publication on Mental Health in Prisons

Mental Health in PrisonsPenal Reform International has issued a new publication, Mental health in prisons: A short guide for prison staff. The guide seeks to help prison staff understand and respond appropriately to the mental health needs of adult prisoners. It focuses on how prison staff can promote and protect mental health and well-being and enable those with existing conditions to function better in the prison environment.

The guide will also prove to be a useful tool for independent detention monitors in different national contexts, including Canada.

The publication is currently available in English and Georgian.

Posted by mp