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GLOBAL
PRISON
TRENDS
2018

SPECIAL FOCUS
Pull-out section

The rehabilitation and
reintegration of offenders
in the era of sustainable
development

Global Prison Trends 2018
This document is co-published and
produced with financial assistance
from the Thailand Institute of Justice
(TIJ). It is the fourth edition of Penal
Reform International’s Global Prison
Trends series.
This report was authored by
Olivia Rope and Frances Sheahan.
Penal Reform International
(PRI) would also like to thank
Harvey Slade for his contribution
to the report, as well as Javier
Sagredo and Phiset Sa-ardyen
(TIJ) for contributing to the Special
Focus section. The authors
drew on information provided
by contributors to PRI’s expert
guest blog series available at
www.penalreform.org/blog and
information kindly provided by
partner organisations. The report
was edited by Martha Crowley.
Its contents are the sole
responsibility of PRI.
This publication may be freely
reviewed, abstracted, reproduced
and translated, in part or in
whole, but not for sale or for use
in conjunction with commercial
purposes. Any changes to the text of
this publication must be approved by
PRI. Due credit must be given to PRI,
the TIJ and to this publication.
Enquiries should be addressed to
publications@penalreform.org.
ISBN: 978-1-909521-60-5
First published in May 2018.
© Penal Reform International 2018
Graphic design by Alex Valy.
(www.alexvalydesign.co.uk)
Cover photo © Karla Nur 2014.

Penal Reform International
(PRI) is an independent
non-governmental organisation
that develops and promotes
fair, effective and proportionate
responses to criminal justice
problems worldwide.
We promote alternatives to prison that
support the rehabilitation of offenders,
and promote the right of detainees
to fair and humane treatment. We
campaign for the prevention of torture
and the abolition of the death penalty,
and we work to ensure just and
appropriate responses to children and
women who come into contact with
the law.
We currently have programmes in
the Middle East and North Africa,
Central Asia, the South Caucasus
and Sub-Saharan Africa, and work
with partners in South Asia.
To receive our monthly e-newsletter,
please sign up at
www.penalreform.org/keep-informed.
Penal Reform International
Head Office
1 Ardleigh Road
London N1 4HS
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 923 0946
Email: publications@penalreform.org
Twitter: @PenalReformInt
Facebook: @penalreforminternational
www.penalreform.org

The Thailand Institute of Justice
(TIJ) is a public organisation
established by the Government
of Thailand in 2011 and officially
recognised by the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime as
the latest member of the United
Nations Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice Programme
Network Institutes in 2016.
One of the primary objectives of
the TIJ is to promote and support
the implementation of the United
Nations Rules for the Treatment of
Women Prisoners and Non-custodial
Measures for Women Offenders
(the Bangkok Rules).
In addition, the TIJ strives to serve as
a bridge that transports global ideas
to local practices with an emphasis
on fundamental issues including
interconnections between the rule
of law and sustainable development,
human rights, peace and security.
For more information, please visit
www.tijthailand.org
Thailand Institute of Justice
GPF Building 15th–16th Floor
Witthayu Road, Pathum Wan
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Email: info@tijthailand.org
www.tijthailand.org

CONTENTS

Contents
Foreword	5
Introduction	

6

1.	 Crime and imprisonment	
	 Crime rates and the use of imprisonment	
	 Prison overcrowding	

7
7
8

2.	 Trends in the use of imprisonment	
	 Pre-trial justice	
		Pre-trial detention	
	Sentencing	
	 Life imprisonment	
	 Death penalty	
	 Drugs and imprisonment	

10
10
11
11
12
13
14

3.	 Prison populations	
	Women	
	Children	
		Elderly people	
	Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
(LGBTI) people	
	 People with disabilities	

16
16
18
19

4.	 Prison management	
	 Security and violence	
	 Prison staff	
	Health	
	 Solitary confinement	
	 Contact with the outside world	
		Rehabilitation and reintegration	
	 Violent extremism in prison	
		Fragile and conflict-affected states	
	 Corruption in prison	

22
22
23		
25
26
27
28
28
31
32

5.	 Role and use of technologies	

33

6.	 Alternatives to imprisonment	

36

20
21

25 Key recommendations	
39
Endnotes	41

CENTREFOLD
Special Focus 2018 (pull-out section)

The rehabilitation and reintegration
of offenders in the era of sustainable
development

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

|3

FOREWORD

[The] trend of
over-incarceration and
punishment of people
who use drugs is seen
on every continent

© Oliver de Ros, 2017

4 |	

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

FOREWORD

Foreword

Every year, Global Prison Trends
by Penal Reform International (in
collaboration with the Thailand Institute
of Justice) provides us with a global
view on the state of prisons. And,
every year, this report is, unfortunately,
hardly a surprise – we read about
the degrading conditions in which
people are imprisoned, and about
their growing number. Yet the level
of crime in most societies is constantly
decreasing. The question that remains
unanswered, therefore, is why our
societies focus their response to
unlawful behaviours so often on
prison? Where is the proportionality
in sentencing when we punish nonviolent offences with lengthy prison
sentences? Is this the only response
we can offer?
The chapter on drugs and
imprisonment in this report highlights
that a high number of prisons in the
world are overcrowded due to the
incarceration of people for drug-related
offences, in particular non-violent
offences involving use and possession
for personal use. This directly
reflects our contemporary addiction
to punishment and showcases the
disproportionality of punishment in
relation to the offence. The use of
harsh prison sentences for people
who use drugs or for those who play
a minor role in the drug trade also
shows the inefficiency, limitations and
perverse effects of current drug control
policies. Not only are punishment
and incarceration becoming the sole
instruments used to enforce the law,
but also they are serving to implement
moral norms which have no link with
the reality of the offence that they are
supposed to punish.

This trend of over-incarceration and
punishment of people who use drugs
is seen on every continent. The deep
impact it has on prison systems
and on people in prison and their
communities has sparked the current
global debate on drug policy reform. In
recent years, more and more countries
have been introducing amendments
to their drug laws; for example, by
decriminalising the use of drugs
in Norway and Colombia, and by
replacing prison terms with monetary
fines in Ghana and Tunisia or with
community service, as envisaged
in Senegal. Other countries have
gone even further. Ecuador gave an
amnesty to drug couriers and released
thousands of prisoners. Countries
that have traditionally adopted harsh
stances on drugs, such as Malaysia
and Iran, are reviewing their death
penalty policies for drug offences,
and removing people from death row.
These changes and reforms are
being discussed and implemented
in a global environment that remains
highly stigmatising, where drugs are
still considered ‘evil’ and prohibition
approaches prevail. They are therefore
born out of a real need – the need for
societies to stop exposing their citizens
to greater risks from arrests related to
drug use than come from the act of
using drugs.

we call for these commitments to
be implemented, taking account of
the fact that over-incarceration as
a result of out-of-date drug policies
stalls progress on implementing the
Sustainable Development Goals,
notably for Goal 3 on health, Goal
5 on gender equality, Goal 10 on
reducing inequality, and Goal 16 on
peaceful societies.
Drug policies need reforms, and there
are two urgent ones to enact. First, we
need to accept that behaviours and
actions of others that are not aligned
with our own moral perspectives do
not need to be turned into criminal
offences. Second, we need to
introduce proportionate sentencing
and alternatives to imprisonment for
minor drug supply-related offences.
This will ease pressure on prison
systems so that they can fulfil their
purpose as set down in the UN Nelson
Mandela Rules: to play a rehabilitative
role and focus on social reintegration,
and to distance from the criminal
justice system those who should not
be subject to it, including people who
use drugs.
Rt Hon Helen Clark
Member of the Global Commission on
Drug Policy; Former Prime Minister of New
Zealand, 1999–2008; Former Administrator
of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), 2009–2017.

The need for reforms was also
highlighted at the UN General
Assembly Special Session on Drugs
held in 2016. In their decisions there,
member states called for more
proportionate sentencing and for
alternatives to incarceration. At the
Global Commission on Drug Policy,

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

|5

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

Global Prison Trends 2018 is the fourth
edition in Penal Reform International’s
annual series, published in collaboration
with the Thailand Institute of Justice.
The report analyses trends in criminal
justice and the use of imprisonment
and, as in previous years, these show
that while overall crime rates around
the world have declined, the number
of people in prison on any given day
is rising.
This continuing increase demonstrates
that pre-trial detention is not being
used as a last resort, as required by
international standards, and prison
remains the automatic response to
criminal offending in most countries
around the globe. Minor, petty offences
continue to attract prison sentences,
including poverty-related crimes like
theft or drug use and possession.
Overall, sentences are becoming
longer, with mandatory minimum
sentencing policies restricting access
to justice. With few exceptions, the
principle of proportionality in sentencing
remains aspirational.
People from minority groups and
Indigenous communities continue to be
caught up in criminal justice systems
at disproportionate levels, which often
reflects the social and economic
exclusion of such groups.

6 |	

All of these factors have contributed
to prison overcrowding at crisis levels,
and although some countries have
made efforts to reduce their prison
populations, many have resorted to
unsustainable ‘quick fixes’ such as
amnesties or building new prisons.
Criminal justice policies affect nearly
every aspect of the 2030 Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), including
poverty, food security, human rights,
health and well-being, education, social
inclusion, gender equality, employment,
environmental issues, human security,
access to justice, inclusive political
processes, and governance and the
rule of law. Yet they have often been
developed without full consideration
of the costs of such policies for
sustainable development.
As the Special Focus section on
The rehabilitation and reintegration
of offenders in the era of sustainable
development argues, our leaders need
to rethink criminal justice policy to
overcome these enormous problems
and ensure that ‘no one is left behind’
– a commitment made by states in
adopting the SDGs. A system based
on rehabilitation and sustainable
development can see people in prison
rebuild their lives and contribute to safer
societies, free from poverty.

In addition to chapters on
sentencing, prison populations,
prison management, the role and
use of technologies and alternatives
to imprisonment, this year’s report
takes a closer look at pre-trial justice
issues. Part two covers developments
in safeguarding rights for people
arrested and suspected of a criminal
offence, as well as new research on
sentencing practices, such as the
increasing use of plea bargaining and
life imprisonment.
By providing an overview of trends and
challenges in penal policy and the use
of imprisonment globally, we hope that
Global Prison Trends 2018 provides
a useful tool for policymakers and
other actors working towards fair and
effective criminal justice systems.
Alison Hannah

Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak

Executive Director
Penal Reform
International

Executive Director
Thailand Institute
of Justice

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

CRIME AND IMPRISONMENT

PART ONE

Crime and
imprisonment
Crime rates
and the use
of imprisonment
Accurately measuring levels of crime
is not possible, although general
trends suggest that crime rates have
continued downwards in recent
years for homicide and other violent
crimes, as well as for property crimes.
Prosecutions for drug possession
offences, on the other hand,
increased between 2003 and 2013,
while drug trafficking prosecutions
remained stable.1 Cybercrime, such
as internet-based theft, fraud and
exploitation, is increasingly recognised
as a major concern.2
The crime of homicide is generally
regarded as a proxy indicator for
violent crime overall. The United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
found an overall decline in intentional
homicide between 2009 and 2015
but noted marked variants across
different regions.3 Large increases in
homicide were seen in South America
until 2014, in Northern Africa between
2009 and 2011, and in Southern Africa
between 2011 and 2015, although in
the latter there has been a significant
decline over the past 25 years. A
common feature of several countries
with high homicide rates is inequality
in income distribution.4
Globally, men are overrepresented as
both victims and perpetrators when it
comes to homicide. However, women
make up the majority of victims of
homicide by intimate partners and
family members, and there is limited
regional differentiation in this pattern.5

Despite the global downward trends
in crime, between 2000 and 2015
prison populations rose unrelentingly
by almost 20 per cent – a rate slightly
higher than the world population
growth over the same period.6
The number of women and girls
in prison worldwide increased by
53 per cent between 2000 and 2017.7
The Institute for Criminal Policy
Research estimates that there were
over 10.35 million prisoners living in
prisons around the world in 2016,
either in pre-trial detention or having
been convicted and sentenced.
The true figure may be in excess
of 11 million, since the data is not
complete and, for example, does not
include figures from countries such as
Eritrea, Somalia and North Korea, nor
people in police detention.8
There are diverging trends in the use
of imprisonment at the regional level.
Between 2000 and 2015, the total
prison population in Oceania increased
by almost 60 per cent, and in the
Americas it increased by over 40 per
cent overall – 14 per cent in the US,
over 80 per cent in Central American
countries, and by 145 per cent in
South American countries.9
In Europe, by contrast, the use of
imprisonment decreased by 21 per
cent in the same period.10 Russia’s
prison population decline is striking
(a 37 per cent reduction between 2000
and 2015) and the explanation for this
is not clear. One study suggested that
the jurisprudence of the European
Court of Human Rights might have had

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

an impact;11 since 1998, the Court has
delivered more than 600 judgments
finding inhuman and degrading
treatment of individuals in Russia’s
detention facilities.12 The Netherlands
saw a decrease of 46 per cent in its
prison population between 2006 and
2016. Again, the causes of this are
unclear, but contributing factors are
a renewed focus on crime prevention,
a drop in registered violent crime, and
expansion of the scope of suspended
sentences and in the use of electronic
monitoring.13 The country has such
a surplus of unused cells that it has
rented some of its prisons to Belgium
and Norway.14
Although the female prison population
is rising, women and girls still remain a
small minority, constituting 6.9 per cent
of the global prison population.15 In
Africa, the proportion – at 3.4 per cent
– is much lower than elsewhere. In
the Americas, women and girls make
up 8.4 per cent of the total prison
population, while in Asia the proportion
is 6.7 per cent; in Europe, 6.1 per
cent; and in Oceania, 7.4 per cent.16
The drivers behind the increasing rates
of imprisonment globally are many and
varied, and can be linked to changes in
criminal justice policies and practices
such as mandatory sentencing and
stringent bail conditions, as well as
social, cultural and economic factors
such as levels of inequality, substance
abuse, unemployment and social and
community cohesion. Any relationship
between rates of imprisonment
and levels of criminal activity
remains contested.

|7

CRIME AND IMPRISONMENT

Some countries continue to have a
‘tough on crime’ approach founded
on a belief that higher rates of
imprisonment and longer sentences
will act as a deterrent and incapacitate
offenders from committing crime
whilst in prison. However, there is
clear evidence that tougher sentences
of imprisonment do not in fact deter
offenders from committing crime. A
2017 report by the Open Philanthropy
Project reviewed 35 international

studies that examined this link, and
concluded that ‘the crux of the matter
is that tougher sentences hardly deter
crime, and that while imprisoning
people temporarily stops them from
committing crime outside prison walls,
it also tends to increase their criminality
after release. As a result, “tough on
crime” initiatives can reduce crime
in the short run but cause off-setting
harm in the long run’.17

RECOMMENDATION 01

overcrowding. While there is a great
deal of evidence that the mental health
of prisoners is affected by prison
overcrowding, including from the UN,22
a new academic study that assessed
4,000 prison suicides in 24 countries
found no link between suicides and
overcrowding.23

Justice Ministry admitted to a ‘severe’
overcrowding problem.29 The extra
prisons will increase the total prison
capacity by 137,000 beds.30 In
Slovakia, a new prison is planned to
house a further 832 prisoners,31 and
Nigeria announced that six ‘ultramodern’ prisons will be opened
across the country.32 A European
Parliament report which deplored
prison overcrowding in EU member
states noted that ‘increasing prison
capacity is not the sole solution to
overcrowding, as the prison population
tends to rise at the same rate as
increases in prison capacity’.33

States should introduce a range
of law and policy changes to
reduce rates of imprisonment,
such as crime prevention
measures, the expansion
of alternative measures,
and a renewed focus on
rehabilitation in both prisons
and community settings.

Prison
overcrowding
The growth of the world prison
population has exceeded the rate of
general population growth since 2000,
and, in many countries, this increase
has led to more overcrowded prisons.
Data suggests that the number of
prisoners exceeds official prison
capacity in at least 120 countries.18
This is an underestimate, as some
systems base their calculations on
minimal space per prisoner. Prison
overcrowding is largely a consequence
of dysfunctional criminal justice
systems and punitive responses
to crime. (See Pre-trial detention,
page 11; Sentencing, page 11).
Overcrowding also occurs in
transportation of detainees; for
instance, a recent report by Amnesty
International found that prisoners in
Russia can spend up to 60 hours in a
space of just 0.29 square metres while
being transferred between facilities.19
A small number of countries have
seen a drop in their prison populations
in recent years, including Russia
and Mexico.20 But the general trend
of over-incarceration and prison
overcrowding continues.
A report issued by the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights
in 201721 detailed the causes and
effects of over-incarceration and
prison overcrowding, citing violence
and abuse as ‘by-products’ of the
latter. It also pointed out links between
overcrowding and inadequate
healthcare and facilities for training,
as well as a lack of opportunity to
enjoy the right to freedom of religion
or belief. The report detailed how
vulnerable groups are impacted
differently and more severely by

8 |	

The long-term solution to prison
overcrowding lies in the reform of
policies and laws and the use of
alternatives to imprisonment, as
required by the UN Tokyo Rules.24
However, more immediate responses,
such as amnesties and pardons,
continue to be implemented.
Amnesties were recently announced
in Macedonia and Kuwait, and, in
The Gambia, more than 250 prisoners
received a pardon.25 In Kenya, the
President directed the release of
petty offenders, citing huge costs as
the reason for decongestion, and a
decongestion initiative began in 2017
in Nigeria, led by a newly established
national committee on prison reform.26
While amnesties and pardons produce
short-term relief, they are not a
sustainable solution and can also
erode public confidence in the criminal
justice system. In the Czech Republic,
approximately 2,000 of the 6,500
people released in a 2013 amnesty
subsequently returned to prison.27 In
Burundi, a pardon to release around
a third of the prison population in early
2017 was criticised as only making
space for political prisoners.28
Some countries look to the
construction of new prisons to
reduce overcrowding. Turkey has
announced plans to build 228 prisons
over the next five years, after its

The use of non-custodial measures at
the pre-trial stage and post-conviction
is increasingly understood to be an
effective way to reduce overcrowding.
Several countries struggling with
overstretched prisons took steps
to keep people out of prison. For
example, following a European Court
of Human Rights ruling that it take
steps to address prison overcrowding,
Romania planned to introduce early
release and electronic monitoring
for certain categories of prisoners.34
(See Pre-trial detention, page 11;
Alternatives to imprisonment, page
36; and for electronic monitoring,
page 33).

RECOMMENDATION 02
Strategies to address prison
overcrowding should focus on
crime prevention, expanding
the use of alternatives to
imprisonment and social
interventions that promote
sustainable development and
reduce poverty and inequality.
(SDGs 1, 10 and 16)

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

CRIME AND IMPRISONMENT

The long-term
solution to prison
overcrowding
lies in the reform
of policies and
laws and the use
of alternatives to
imprisonment

© Thailand Institute of Justice, 2017

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

|9

TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

PART TWO

Trends in
the use of
imprisonment
Pre-trial justice
Everyone has rights, from the moment
they first come into contact with the
criminal justice system. These include
protection from the unnecessary
use of force by the police, from
summary or arbitrary arrest, and from
incommunicado detention. People
have the right to be told of the reason
for their arrest, have access to legal
representation and medical care, and
to be charged and brought promptly
before a judge.35
Police detention and investigation
can be a time of great vulnerability
for detainees, with many of these
rights being flouted. For instance,
in India state-funded legal aid is not
always provided at the time of arrest
or when the accused person is first
brought before a magistrate, which
discriminates against people who
cannot afford private lawyers in the
critical pre-charge stage.36 Research
from Mexico found that 83 per cent
of Indigenous prisoners were not
shown an arrest warrant and 77 per
cent did not understand why they
were being detained, and there were
only 24 public defenders who spoke
Indigenous languages available for
7,433 Indigenous suspects.37 In Brazil,
judges in only about 40 per cent of
jurisdictions see detainees promptly
after arrest at ‘custody hearings’
(where rulings are made on pre-trial
detention), and many wait months to
see a judge. In response, the Brazilian

10 |	

Congress has been considering
legislation that would make custody
hearings mandatory nationwide.38
Some other positive measures have
been adopted to protect suspects,
such as in Japan, where a revised law
requires mandatory video recording
of interrogations with suspects to
be implemented by June 2019.39
A pilot project in Fiji to introduce
video recording of police interviews
was extended for another year.40
In Paraguay, it is now mandatory
to use detention registries in all
police stations, which can improve
transparency.41
Abusive and coercive interrogation
practices have long been criticised,
not least because they are ineffective
in achieving the aim of fact-finding
to solve crimes. The UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights
reiterated recently that coercive
methods, including the use of torture,
are unreliable, counterproductive and
‘deeply wrong’.42 In 2016, a report
by the UN Special Rapporteur on
torture urged states to develop an
international protocol on non-coercive
interviewing methods to counter
widespread patterns of torture and
ill-treatment to extract confessions
of guilt. This has led anti-torture
advocates to promote ‘investigative
interviewing’ – a non-coercive method
of interviewing criminal suspects, and

work has commenced to develop a
set of universal standards for noncoercive interviewing and procedural
safeguards.43 The Convention against
Torture Initiative has published a
training tool on the method,44 and the
UN has announced the publication of
a Manual on Investigative Interviewing
for UN police officers.45
Investigative interviewing has its origins
in the ‘PEACE’ model developed in
England and Wales in the 1990s,46
which has since influenced other law
enforcement agencies, including in
Norway, New Zealand and China.47

RECOMMENDATION 03
States should respect, protect
and fulfil the full range of
human rights and procedural
safeguards guaranteed for
people arrested. To prevent
torture or ill-treatment of
suspects, investigative
interviewing that is noncoercive should be adopted.
(SDG 16)

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

Pre-trial
detention
Pre-trial detention is one of the
main causes of over-incarceration
and overcrowding and it remains
an enormous challenge for prison
systems. Around 30 per cent of
prison populations have not been
convicted. While global pre-trial rates
have decreased slightly over the past
10 years, in some countries over
60 per cent of people in prison are in
pre-trial detention.48 The total number
and percentage of pre-trial detainees
is an indicator of access to justice
under Goal 16 of the Sustainable
Development Goals.49
A lack of access to legal representation
is a major factor contributing to
high rates of pre-trial detention.
For example, a survey in Nigeria
found that 56 per cent of pre-trial
detainees did not have active legal
representation primarily due to lack
of funds to engage a lawyer.50 Barriers
to appearing in court are another
factor, such as in India, where there
was a reported 82,334 cases across
154 prisons in a six-month period
where pre-trial detainees did not
appear in court for their trial, due
to a shortage of police escorts.51
High rates of pre-trial detention
are also a result of unaffordable
amounts of monetary bail being set

by courts, which particularly impacts
on poor people caught up in criminal
justice systems. The problem is
well-documented in the US, where,
in the state of Hawaii during the first
half of 2017, almost half of the jail
population were in pre-trial detention
because bail amounts were set at
excessive levels; the average amount
for the lowest-level felony was over
USD$20,000 in Honolulu.52 Steps were
taken in several US states to reform
bail systems to address the issue,
including in Connecticut, Alabama
and recently in New York City, where
cash bail for non-felony cases is to
be abolished.53
Efforts to reduce levels of pre-trial
detention have been seen in a number
of countries. In Thailand, a pilot
project across 12 courts successfully
introduced flight-risk assessment
when determining if pre-trial detention
is necessary. Around 66,000 people
are imprisoned each year in Thailand
because they do not have enough
cash or assets to post bail before and
during their trials.54 In Liberia, where
it is estimated that 69 per cent of
prisoners are in pre-trial detention, a
special judiciary task force has been
established to review cases.55

Other measures to address the
excessive use of pre-trial detention
included legal limits on its length and
application. For example, in Bolivia,
where 68 per cent of the prison
population are in pre-trial detention,
reforms are being considered to
shorten the maximum time of pre-trial
detention and limit the number of
cases that it can be applied to.56 In
Colombia, a new law came into effect
in response to a Supreme Court ruling
to expedite low-level criminal cases
where the suspects are in pre-trial
detention.57 The Egyptian Parliament
is currently drafting a bill to put a
six-month ceiling on pre-trial detention,
although there is some scepticism
as to whether it would be fully
implemented.58

RECOMMENDATION 04
Pre-trial detention should
only be used as a means of
last resort, and decisions to
detain should be based on the
presumption of innocence and
the principles of necessity and
proportionality. Monetary bail
policies should be reviewed to
ensure they do not discriminate
against poor people.
(SDGs 1, 10 and 16)

Sentencing
Levels of severity in sentencing vary
considerably between countries, and
identifying trends in the proportionality
and length of sentences is not
straightforward. However, available
data suggests that prison sentences
are getting longer generally, particularly
for serious offences. For example,
whilst the number of custodial
prison sentences handed down by
courts in Finland decreased overall
by 42 per cent between 2004
and 2016, the average duration of
life-term sentences rose from just over
10 years in the 1990s to 14.5 years
in 2016.59 A similar trend was seen
in Scotland, where the average tariff
for those receiving a life sentence
increased from 10 years in 2000 to

over 18 years in 2012.60 (See Life
imprisonment, page 12). In England
and Wales,141 offenders had their
sentences increased in 2016 as
a result of a referral scheme where
anyone can ask the Attorney General
to consider whether a sentence
should be referred for review at the
Court of Appeal for being unduly
lenient. The scheme is only possible
for more serious offences, and
in 2017 was extended to include
19 terrorism-related offences.61
Wide variation has also been observed
in sentencing practice between courts
and individual judges; for example, in
Ireland, where there are no sentencing
guidelines, analysis of sentencing for

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

burglary revealed that offenders are
far less likely to receive a custodial
sentence in Limerick than in Dublin.62
Elsewhere there have been positive
sentencing reforms. In New Zealand,
a new government set out plans
to remove the ‘three strikes’ law
introduced in 2010, which removed
the discretion of a judge when
sentencing a third offence, requiring
the maximum prison sentence
available in law, without the possibility
of parole.63 The Nepalese Parliament
passed a Bill that permits courts to
sentence prisoners to ‘open jails’ and,
if sentenced to less than two months,
the court may order them to serve their
sentence in a rehabilitation centre.64

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TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

In the US, the Sentencing Commission
considered an amendment to the
federal sentencing guidelines to
increase the availability of ‘alternative
to incarceration’ sentences.65
A significant trend in relation to
sentencing is a growth in plea
bargaining or trial waiver systems. Plea
bargains are a negotiated process by
which the prosecution puts forward
reduced charges or requests a lighter
sentence, and in return a defendant
pleads guilty or incriminates others.
A 2017 study on 90 countries by the
NGO Fair Trials found that there was a
300 per cent increase in plea bargains
worldwide since 1990.66 For example,
in Georgia, where plea bargaining was
introduced in 2004, the share rose
from 13 per cent in 2005 to 88 per
cent in 2012. The US is the jurisdiction
with the most extensive use – over

95 per cent of criminal cases are now
resolved through plea bargains, with
little regulation (there are no legal
limits on what can be negotiated
between individual prosecutors and
defendants). In Australia, England
and Russia, more than 60 per
cent of cases are resolved with
plea bargains.67
Supporters of plea bargaining assert
that it can reduce court waiting times,
help to reduce pre-trial detention, save
money, and can protect vulnerable
victims from the ordeal of testifying
in trial. In India, for instance, it was
introduced explicitly to address
overcrowding.68 However, without
adequate procedural safeguards,
there are considerable concerns
about its use and expansion, not least
that defendants lack the procedural
safeguards that should be available

to them during a trial. Also, innocent
people can be persuaded to plead
guilty; easier convictions can
encourage over-criminalisation and
drive harsher sentences; there can be
an inequality between the negotiating
partners and a lack of transparency
where ‘deals’ are done by prosecutors
behind closed doors; and public trust
in justice can be undermined.69

RECOMMENDATION 05
Sentencing practice should be
guided by international law,
including the UN Tokyo and
Bangkok Rules, and should
be based on the principle of
proportionality. Plea bargaining
systems should be fully
regulated to ensure access to
justice is preserved and rights
of suspects are upheld. (SDG 16)

Life
imprisonment
The actual time served when someone
is sentenced to ‘life imprisonment’
varies from country to country. In some
jurisdictions, life sentences are handed
down for a determinate number of
years, after which the prisoner is
released with or without conditions.
In others, a prisoner must serve a
minimum number of years, at the end
of which they will be considered for
release. Life without parole sentences
(LWOP) are where the prisoner has
no possibility of having the sentence
reviewed, so will be imprisoned until
his or her death.

12 |	

Some countries impose mandatory
sentences, and in the US, for instance,
‘three strikes’ legislation insists on
automatic life sentences after a third
offence. The gradual abolition of the
death penalty is another cause, with
life imprisonment replacing capital
punishment as the ultimate penalty.

It is now estimated that almost
half a million people are serving life
sentences around the world, according
to a ground-breaking study that will
be published in 2018.70 Data from
the study shows that there has been
a steady growth in the number of
life-sentenced prisoners around the
world over recent decades. Out of a
total of 216 countries and territories,
183 allow for life imprisonment in
law, often as the ultimate penalty for
the most serious crimes. Sixty-five
countries impose LWOP sentences.

Where disaggregated data is available,
it suggests that women comprise just
under 4 per cent of life-sentenced
prisoners.71 Although they constitute
a minority, analysis from the US
found that the rise in life sentences
for women surpassed that for men.
A possible reason offered – given
the relatively stable and low level
of women’s involvement in violent
crime which life sentences are usually
imposed for – was that men may be
benefitting from parole release more
frequently than women.72 Research
published in 2017 found that for
women, serving life sentences was
‘more acutely painful and problematic
than [for] their more numerous male
counterparts’.73 Much of this was
because of their role as carers, and
because of previous victimisation.

Explanations for the rise in life
imprisonment include ‘tough on crime’
policies and long sentences handed
down as part of punitive drug policies.

Data from 2015 showed that 73
countries allow life sentences for
offences committed while under the
age of 18,74 despite the UN Human

Rights Council urging its prohibition.75
The only country to allow LWOP
sentences for crimes committed by
children is the US.76 Although a 2016
Supreme Court ruling required the
re-sentencing or consideration of
parole for people currently serving
life sentences for offences they
committed as children, states have
been slow to do so and little progress
has been made.77 Twenty-five states
and Washington, D.C. now ban the
sentence, up from five states just five
years ago.78 In four other states it
exists in law, but is never imposed in
practice.79 (See Children, page 18).
Conditions for life-sentenced prisoners
continue to fall below minimum
standards, and restrictions on access
to rehabilitation programmes and
contact with the outside world are
common. Reports show that several
countries systematically handcuff
and/or strip-search life-sentenced
prisoners whenever they leave their
cells, regardless of actual risk.80
This is the case in Kyrgyzstan for
example, although a new facility
has been opened to accommodate
prisoners serving sentences longer
than 20 years, where prisoners will be
permitted to move inside the facility
without escorts or handcuffs.81

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TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

Although life imprisonment is a major
contributor to the problem of prison
overcrowding, it continues to be
excluded from discussions on penal
reform. For instance, a 2017 study in
the US found that although the number
of people serving life sentences in
the country’s prisons is at an all-time
high (representing one in seven
people in prison), the ‘evaluation of
the appropriateness of lifelong prison
sentences is typically either omitted
from policy discussions or deliberately
excluded from reforms’.82
There have been efforts by courts
to limit the application of life
imprisonment. In Kenya, the Supreme

Court encouraged the government
to avoid LWOP by introducing
non-mandatory life sentences with
the possibility of release, instead
of capital punishment.83 In another
significant judgment, the Supreme
Court of Namibia ruled in early 2018
that very long fixed-term sentences,
which in practice would keep
offenders in prison for longer than
life sentences, are unconstitutional,
as they violate the right to dignity.84
These judgments follow the European
Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) ‘right
to hope’ jurisprudence. In its most
recent judgment on the issue in May
2017, the ECtHR ruled that whole-life
sentences in Lithuania offering

no genuine prospects of release
violated the prohibition of inhuman
or degrading treatment.85

RECOMMENDATION 06
States should reduce the use
of life imprisonment, taking
account of the principle
of proportionality and the
negative impact of such
sentences. Life sentences
without any possibility of
parole should be abolished.
Conditions for life-sentenced
prisoners should adhere to the
minimum standards set out
in the Nelson Mandela Rules.
(SDGs 8, 10 and 16)

Death penalty
In general, the use of the death
penalty is decreasing globally and
the trend towards abolition of the
death penalty continues. Following
a spike in executions in 2015, global
figures show that the number of
people executed fell by 37 per cent
in 2016; Amnesty International
recorded that at least 1,032 people
were executed in 2016, compared
to at least 1,634 in 2015.86 However,
it also recorded an increase in the
number of death sentences handed
down globally in 2016 (which totalled
3,117), representing the highest total
ever recorded.87
As of March 2018, 141 countries have
abolished the death penalty completely
in law or practice, the latter meaning
countries that have not had any
executions during the past 10 years
and which are believed to have a
policy or established practice of not
carrying out executions. There are
now 105 countries that have abolished
the death penalty for all crimes and
a further seven for ordinary crimes
(i.e. laws only permit the death penalty
for exceptional crimes such as crimes
under military law or crimes committed
in exceptional circumstances).88 During
2017, Mongolia abolished the death
penalty for all crimes in a new criminal
code, and Guatemala abolished the
death penalty for ordinary crimes.89
Furthermore, The Gambia signed
the Second Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights, committing to abolish
the death penalty, and announced a
moratorium in early 2018.90

offences.96 New laws proposed in
Indonesia would see a 10-year stay
on executions.97

There are at least 33 countries that
allow for the death penalty for drug
offences in law, and at least nine
countries retain it as a mandatory
sanction (although three of these
countries are abolitionist in practice).
Excluding China where statistics
are unreliable, at least 1,320 people
are known to have been executed
for drug-related offences between
January 2015 and December 2017,
although the number of executions has
steadily declined from 718 in 2015 to
280 in 2017.91

In the US, death sentences and
executions remained at a historic low,
with only eight states carrying out
executions in 2017.98 The Supreme
Court enforced the prohibition of the
execution of intellectually disabled
defendants, by ruling against the
state of Texas’ outdated methods
of assessing intellectual disabilities
– which were found to be based on
‘stereotypes, fears, or myths’.99

There were positive signs of countries
moving towards abolition over
the past year, including in Kenya
where mandatory death sentences
were declared unconstitutional by
the Supreme Court in December
2017.92 In Thailand, the government
announced moves to remove
mandatory death sentences for
certain offences.93 In early 2018, Iran
abolished capital punishment for
some drug trafficking offences, which
affects 5,000 prisoners on death
row;94 Iran accounted for nearly 90
per cent of all reported drug-related
executions between January 2015 and
December 2017, with at least 1,176
executions carried out in that period.95
Malaysia moved to remove mandatory
death sentences for drug trafficking

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

However, a few countries that have
retained the death penalty in law
considered reintroducing its use,
including Israel and the Philippines.100
The President of Turkey spoke in
favour of reintroducing the death
penalty ahead of a referendum to
extend his political powers, and there
are plans to resume use of the death
penalty in the Maldives after a 60-year
moratorium, which have attracted
international condemnation.101
There was increasing concern about
the imposition of the death penalty
on foreign nationals in Iraq, including
nationals from regions such as Central
Asia and Europe. Many have been
prosecuted for terrorism-related
offences such as membership of
or providing support to so-called
Islamic State (IS), as well as for
killings and other acts enshrined in
counterterrorism legislation that carry
the death penalty.102

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TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

In many jurisdictions, people on death
row live in conditions that fall well
below minimum standards, which
in many cases amounts to inhuman
or degrading treatment. Mandatory
solitary confinement and total bans on
‘open’ or ‘contact’ visits are common,
and are in violation of the UN Standard
Minimum Rules for the Treatment of
Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).
One 2017 study explained that every
prisoner on death row in Texas, US,
spent about 23 hours a day in an
8-by-12-foot cell for the duration of

their time on death row, which, on
average, lasts more than a decade.103
Harsh physical conditions which
‘almost act as a separate sentence’
for death row prisoners in India are
detailed in a 2016 study, which found
‘extremely cramped spaces, cells with
very little light and air, unacceptable
standards of hygiene, abysmal quality
of food in flagrant violation of prison
manuals, poor standards of medical
services and almost non-existent
mental health services’.104

RECOMMENDATION 07

become prominent in the debate is
how to measure the impact of drug
policies on human rights, public health
and development, which isn’t captured
in traditional metrics of drug policy.109

law that had imposed a mandatory
prison sentence for narcotics use
or possession, giving judges new
discretion to take account of mitigating
factors.115 In Thailand, where 73 per
cent of prisoners are detained on
drug-related offences,116 reforms
have reduced the overall length of
sentences for drug offences and
further relaxation of the country’s drug
laws are anticipated in 2018 through
the proposed Narcotics Control Bill.117
Ghana will become the first African
country to decriminalise the personal
possession and use of illicit drugs
if the progressive Narcotics Control
Commission Bill currently under
consideration is adopted.118

States that retain the death
penalty should move towards
abolition and establish a
moratorium as a first step.
States that have abolished the
death penalty should support
the abolition movement
politically and financially.
Conditions for prisoners on
death row must meet minimum
standards. (SDGs 3, 10 and 16)

Drugs and
imprisonment
The enforcement of punitive drug
laws continues to have significant
implications for the use and
practice of imprisonment. Harsh
criminal justice responses to drugs
are a major contributor to prison
overcrowding, and the ‘war on drugs’
persists in some countries with
disastrous consequences.
The debate at the international level
on how to address the world drug
problem is ongoing. 2019 marks
the end of the 10-year-long 2009
UN Political Declaration and Plan of
Action105 on drug policy, which aimed
at enhancing international cooperation
and reducing the supply and demand
for illicit drugs. There is growing
agreement that the 2009 goals are not
only unattainable, but policies adopted
under them have led to significant
harm. UN bodies, international leaders
and an increasing number of member
states have rejected such a punitive
approach to drug policy.106 This
broken consensus on the direction of
international drug policy was reflected
in the lead-up to and outcome of the
UN General Assembly Special Session
(UNGASS) on drugs in 2016.107
The UN Human Rights Council
adopted a Resolution on drugs
and human rights in March 2018,
reaffirming the role of human rights
in the international drug policy
debate and requesting a report on
the implementation of the UNGASS
Outcome Document with regards to
human rights.108 One issue that has

14 |	

The large majority of drug-related
offences that people in prison are
charged with or convicted of are minor.
According to available UN data, 83 per
cent of drug offences recorded by
law enforcement and criminal justice
systems are possession offences.110
To reduce the use of imprisonment
for minor drug offences, all UN
member states at the 2016 UNGASS
committed to the ‘development,
adoption and implementation…of
alternative or additional measures with
regard to conviction or punishment’
for minor drug offences.111
Many governments have taken steps
towards a less punitive approach to
drug cultivation and possession for
use. New reforms have been proposed
or adopted over the past year –
including decriminalising cannabis or
reducing sentences for minor offences
– in countries such as France, Georgia,
Norway and Canada, and in several
US states.112
In Myanmar, where approximately
48 per cent of the prison population
are held under drug-related
offences,113 the National Narcotic Drug
Control Policy was issued in February
2018 after years of deliberations,
shifting policy towards a less punitive
approach.114 Furthermore, the
Tunisian Parliament amended a drug

There was an expansion in the use
of ‘drug courts’119 – designed to offer
drug treatment programmes under
judicial supervision – particularly in
Latin America, which follow a model
from the US where there are around
3,100 drug courts.120 However, there
are significant concerns about this
expansion, including from the InterAmerican Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR). The Commission
has criticised the lack of available
data and monitoring mechanisms
demonstrating effectiveness and noted
that some drug courts have been used
to criminalise non-problematic drug
possession or use, rather than the
stated intention of providing a public
health alternative.121

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TRENDS IN THE USE OF IMPRISONMENT

Conversely, many countries remain
dedicated to a prohibitionist and
punitive approach adopted as part
of the so-called ‘war on drugs’; this
has serious consequences, including
the spread of infectious diseases,
ever-increasing prison populations,
and discrimination against minorities
and Indigenous populations as well
as women.122
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo
Duterte continued to wage a war on
drugs which has led to more than
an estimated 12,000 people being
killed since it began in mid-2016.123
In February 2018, the International
Criminal Court announced it would
be investigating the ‘extra-judicial
killings in the course of police anti-drug
operations’.124 A month later, the
President responded by announcing
the country would withdraw from
the International Criminal Court’s
Rome Statute.125
US President Donald Trump
responded to the country’s opioid
crisis, which has seen more than two
million people become dependent on
prescription pain relief drugs,126 by
signalling an intent to re-escalate the
‘war on drugs’.127 Furthermore, early
2018 saw the US Attorney General
rollback a policy legalising marijuana
by giving federal prosecutors discretion
on enforcing a federal prohibition
– causing confusion in states
such as California, which legalised

marijuana on 1 January 2018.128
The IACHR expressed concern that
minor drug-related offences are
characterised as ‘grave offences’ in a
number of states, leading to automatic
pre-trial detention.129
Women are disproportionately affected
by harsh drug laws. In the Americas
and Asia, significant increases in
the female prison population are
largely due to an increase in drug
prosecutions. In a 2017 report, the
IACHR details how pre-trial detention
for drug-related offences has an
excessive impact on women and their
families. It notes the lack of gender
awareness in drug policies, which do
not take into account that women
usually participate at a low level of the
drug business chain and trafficking,
and that their imprisonment has a
significantly negative impact on their
children.130 (See Women, page 16).
In some countries drug users are
detained in compulsory ‘drug
rehabilitation centres’ without
oversight, and there are reports of
serious human rights violations. For
instance, in Vietnam there are up to
11,317 people held in such centres
in Ho Chi Minh City alone, including
children. Detainees are forced to
perform menial work and violations of
rules or failure to meet work quotas are
punished by beatings and deprivation
of food and water.131

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

Drug use in prison remains prevalent.
The UN reported that 20 per cent
of the world’s prison population use
drugs, compared to an estimated
5.3 per cent in the community.
Cannabis is the most common
drug used in prison, followed by
heroin.132 Furthermore, the use of
new psychoactive substances by
prisoners has become common in
English prisons, as well as in the
US and in police detention centres
in New Zealand.133 Harm reduction
measures, a key measure to
preventing harms associated with drug
use – including the transmission of
HIV – are rarely provided in prisons.134
(See Health, page 25).

RECOMMENDATION 08
States should review their
drug policies in order to adopt
evidence-based policies that
include decriminalisation of
minor offences, proportionality
of sentencing, and non-custodial
alternatives to imprisonment.
Treatment as an alternative
to imprisonment must be
voluntary and human-rights
compliant. Metrics to measure
the outcomes of drug policies
should include their impact
on human rights, health and
development. (SDGs 3, 5 and 16)

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PRISON POPULATIONS

PART THREE

Prison
populations	
Of the approximately 10.35 million
people held in penal facilities globally,
the majority are adult men135 who
tend to be from impoverished
backgrounds.136
People from national, ethnic, religious
or linguistic minority groups continue
to be discriminated against in many
criminal justice systems.

As a result, minorities are more likely
to be arrested, prosecuted and
imprisoned for longer terms than
members of the majority population
in a significant number of countries.137
For example, in Denmark, there are
plans to double the penalties for
crimes committed in deprived ‘ghetto’
areas, where immigrant numbers are
above-average.138

In several countries, people from
Indigenous communities are also
disproportionately represented in
criminal justice systems, with high
imprisonment rates.139

Sharp rises in female prison numbers
across the Americas are also a result
of harsh drug laws144 that continue
to impact women disproportionately,
as reported on by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights.145

Women from Indigenous communities
and ethnic minorities face significant
disadvantages in the criminal justice
system. For instance, Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander women comprise
34 per cent of women in prison in
Australia but only 2 per cent of the
adult female population.149 The UN
Special Rapporteur on violence against
women visited the country in 2017,
which prompted a review of the policy
of incarceration for unpaid fines, given
the disproportionate impact it has on
Aboriginal women.150 In the UK it was
reported that black women are 25 per
cent more likely than white women to
receive a custodial sentence.151

Foreign national prisoners (FNPs) make
up a quarter of prison populations
in 39 countries. In the United Arab
Emirates, Qatar and Switzerland, FNPs
constitute over 70 per cent of the
prison population.140

Women
Women and girls remain a minority
in prison populations, constituting
around 7 per cent of the global prison
population. In November 2017, new
data published showed that there
are now more than 714,000 women
and girls in prison globally.141 It is
noteworthy that the world’s female
prison population has increased
by 53 per cent since 2000. This
represents a significant rise compared
to male prison population rates,
which have risen by 20 per cent in the
same period.
Female prison rates have risen sharply
over the past couple of years in Brazil,
Indonesia, the Philippines and Turkey,
whereas substantial decreases were
reported in Mexico, Russia, Thailand
and Vietnam. Africa continued to
have the smallest increase in the
female prison population, whereas the
Americas, Asia and Oceania saw sharp
rises overall.142
The US, China, Russia and Brazil
hold the highest number of women
and girls in detention. Proportionally
the highest female prison population
is in Hong Kong (at 20.8 per cent of
the total prison population), where
the majority of women prisoners
are foreign nationals sentenced for
drug-related offences (as drug ‘mules’)
or immigration violations.143

16 |	

Further evidence has emerged
confirming that women are also
frequently imprisoned for non-violent
minor offences committed in the
context of poverty and discrimination,
and they have often been victims
of violence themselves. A 2017 UN
report highlighted links between
poverty, family roles and drug-related
offences committed by women, raising
concerns at their ‘overincarceration’ for
‘transporting drugs (as mules), having
a secondary role in the commission
of crimes or performing low-level
high-risk tasks, often at the request
of their partners’.146 Poverty was also
highlighted as the root cause of the
high number of women in pre-trial
detention in US jails which, research
found, was most likely due to their
inability to afford cash bail.147 In the
UK, a new report provided evidence
of domestic abuse and ‘coercive
relationships’ being a driver to
women’s offending, citing that at least
57 per cent of women in prison had
been victims of domestic violence.148

Various initiatives sought to
address the soaring rates of female
imprisonment through non-custodial
measures and sanctions in line
with the 2010 UN Rules for the
Treatment of Women Prisoners and
Non-custodial Measures for Women
Offenders (the Bangkok Rules).
In February 2018, the Brazilian
Federal Supreme Court decided that
pregnant women and mothers with
children under the age of 12 who are
accused of non-violent crimes will be
placed under house arrest instead of
in pre-trial detention.152 The judgment
gave authorities 60 days to apply the
order, which will affect at least 4,500
women who are currently detained.153

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PRISON POPULATIONS

New data published
showed that there are
now more than 714,000
women and girls in
prison globally
© Karla Nur, 2014

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

| 17

PRISON POPULATIONS

The probation service in Kenya,
together with PRI, implemented a
project to ensure that community
service and probation are improved
for women. (See New approach
to probation and community
service for women, page 36).154 In
Costa Rica, several reforms have
been implemented to address the
vulnerability of women offenders.
Following a sentencing reform,
approved in November 2013, to
reduce the imprisonment of women
who smuggle drugs into prison,155 a
new reform in January 2017 provides
for the possibility to wipe criminal
records in cases where offences
were committed in ‘situations of
vulnerability’.156
Some prison reforms to implement
the UN Bangkok Rules were reported
during 2017, although these were
exceptional. For instance, in the
US, the Federal Bureau of Prisons

improved access to sanitary products
for women prisoners.157 In Chiang
Mai, Thailand, a centre for women
was set up to offer employment for
women released from prison who had
graduated from the prison’s massage
training programme.
However, reports confirmed that the
UN Bangkok Rules have still not been
implemented in many countries. The
European Parliament noted difficulties
for women prisoners in accessing
activities, sports grounds, libraries,
etc., due to being housed in wings
of male prisons, and concluded
that the Bangkok Rules are ‘seldom
adhered to’ in the EU member
states.158 In Uganda, women are
mostly excluded from formal education
opportunities offered in prison, as
evidenced in the 2017 O-Level
examinations where there were no
female prisoner candidates.159 With
many authorities failing to set up

gender-sensitive rehabilitation, civil
society organisations often fill the gap.
For example, a social enterprise in
Mexico, La Cana, facilitates craftwork
for women prisoners and sells the
products on their behalf with positive
outcomes: 92 per cent of the women
prisoners involved said that they
earned more money in prison than
they did before being imprisoned.160
(See Rehabilitation and reintegration,
page 28).

RECOMMENDATION 09
The UN Bangkok Rules should
guide states in criminal justice
reform to ensure systems meet
the needs of women. Sentencing
of women should take account
of any victimisation, caretaking
responsibilities and context of
the criminal conduct, giving
preference to non-custodial
sanctions. (SDG 1, 5, 10 and 16)

Children
The total number of children in
detention – those under 18 years
of age – was estimated to be about
a million in 2010. The UN Global
Study on Children Deprived of Liberty
has been long in the planning and
seeks to document the full extent of
children in detention. The study took
a step forward with the appointment
of an Independent Expert and, amid
concerns about a lack of funding,161
research commenced in 2017. The
Study will be published in 2019.
Developments in the treatment of
children in criminal justice systems
were mixed. The minimum age of
criminal responsibility was reviewed in
a number of countries. Controversial
proposals to lower the minimum
age of criminal responsibility from
15 to nine years were dropped in the
Philippines,162 and the governor of
New York signed a new bill raising
the age of criminal responsibility to
18 years of age for those charged
with non-violent crimes. This will bring
New York into line with 48 other US
states that allow children to be moved
from adult prisons to juvenile detention
centres.163 In Sri Lanka, amendments
to relevant legislation are being
prepared for Parliament’s approval that
will raise the minimum age of criminal
responsibility from eight to 12 years

18 |	

old. There will also be a new clause
stating that children between the ages
of 12 and 14 can only be held liable
for an offence if the magistrate can
determine the child had the necessary
maturity or knowledge to form the
intent to commit a crime.164
Brazil, on the other hand, has a
controversial bill under consideration
to treat 16 to 18-year-olds charged
with specific offences as adults.
In Japan, the age of criminal
responsibility is currently 20, but the
Justice Minister has consulted an
advisory panel about the possibility
of lowering it to 18.165
Several countries took steps towards
establishing a separate justice system
for children, such as Cambodia
where there are plans to construct a
new facility for children166 following a
new juvenile justice law in 2016. In
Trinidad and Tobago three specialised
Children’s Courts were planned,167 and
in Italy, a proposal to abolish Youth
Courts and Youth Public Prosecutors
was dropped in the face of widespread
public concern.168
New data from England and Wales
showed that arrests of children have
fallen by as much as 64 per cent
in the last six years.169 There are
diverse drivers for this, including an

increased focus by police on serious
offences (which tend to be committed
by adults), an increase in the use of
diversion, and an overall reduction
in youth crime.170 The role of social
media in offences by children was also
reported on in the UK: social media
was used in one in four cases where
a child had committed a serious violent
offence, and is increasingly being
used by young people to incite and
plan crime.171
Cases of systemic abuse of children
in detention, commonly exposed
by independent monitoring bodies,
confirm that children in detention
experience high levels of violence
as a matter of routine. For example,
in Australia a Royal Commission
delivered its final report172 looking
at 10 years of youth detention and
welfare in the Northern Territories.
It revealed shocking and systemic
failures resulting in widespread
mistreatment, primarily of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander children
who are 25 times more likely to
end up in the justice system than
non-Indigenous children.
The situation of children held at a
detention facility in Macedonia was
deemed ‘totally unacceptable’ by
the European Committee for the

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PRISON POPULATIONS

Prevention of Torture in response to
allegations of physical ill-treatment
and the lack of response to them.173
In New Zealand, the Children’s
Commission reported that teenage
boys at a youth prison had told them
how staff hit them ‘on the body where
it won’t mark’ during fight clubs held
away from CCTV cameras.174 In Brazil
four children were found dead after a
group of men broke into a detention
facility, capturing six children;175 in
addition, a bill was proposed that
would permit staff at detention facilities
for children to use electric shock
weapons, riot control equipment and
firearms in certain situations, which is
incompatible with various international
standards including the UN Rules for
the protection of Juveniles Deprived of
their Liberty (the UN Havana Rules).176
Practices of detaining children with
adults and in deplorable conditions
also continue. Zambia’s Human Rights
Commission found that children being

detained alongside adults is common
practice,177 and in Kenya children were
also often held alongside adults at
police stations.178 Staffing shortages
led to boys in the UK being held in
cells nearly all day, according to the
Prison Inspectorate.179
A small number of countries
retained the death penalty for crimes
committed by children, which is
prohibited by international law.180
During 2017, its use fell for the
second year running, although Iran
executed at least four people who
were children at the time of the alleged
offence and many more remain at
risk of execution.181 Authorities in
the Puntland region of Somalia are
reported to have executed five boys
aged 14 to 17 in April 2017.182 A man
in Japan was hanged for a crime
committed when he was 19 years old
(the age of criminal responsibility in
Japan is 20).183

Other countries backtracked on plans
to reintroduce capital punishment
for children, including Kuwait, which
in March 2017 rapidly repealed the
death penalty and life imprisonment
after they were introduced for offences
committed while aged over 16.184
Also, in the Philippines, a proposal to
introduce the death penalty for children
was withdrawn.185 (See Death Penalty,
page 13).

RECOMMENDATION 10
Detention of children should
be used as a very last resort,
and the death penalty and
life imprisonment should
be prohibited for children.
States should adopt childfriendly justice systems
and protect children from
violence and ill-treatment.
(SDGs 3, 4, 5, 10 and 16)

Elderly people
Healthcare professionals normally
use the age of 65 as the point at
which someone is termed as elderly.
In prisons, the demarcation is often
younger, sometimes at 50 years,
since so many prisoners have health
conditions, histories of substance
dependence and limited access
to healthcare.
In many countries, the proportion
of elderly prisoners has continued
to rise. Singapore saw the number
of prisoners aged over 60 double
between 2012 and 2016,186 and in
Australia, the number of prisoners over
the age of 50 has grown by a third in
just five years.187 In the UK, the number
of prisoners over 60 has tripled in
15 years.188
Elderly prisoners are a diverse and
complex population. Challenges for
prison authorities include responding
to chronic illnesses and disabilities
common among elderly people, such
as dementia. Rehabilitation, work and
release programmes are generally

tailored towards younger prisoners and
fail to address the specific needs of
older prisoners.
Elderly prisoners have higher than
average rates of recidivism in Japan,
for example, which has been attributed
to their unique difficulties in obtaining
employment on release as well as to
isolation and poverty.189
One response to the growing
population of elderly prisoners has
been to facilitate early release on
compassionate grounds, like in the
US.190 In the Philippines, 127 prisoners
were released on the basis of their
age and illness in 2017, and in
Argentina, courts can order people
older than 70 years to be held under
house arrest.191
Recent studies show that there is a
need for clear and explicit strategies
to respond to the challenges posed
by this growing group of the prison
population.192 In Japan, a pilot is
ongoing to assess all prisoners
aged over 60 for dementia, with

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the objective of early detection
and providing needed support; it is
estimated that 14 per cent of the
country’s over-60 prison population
has dementia.193 In the UK, a unit was
opened specifically for older prisoners,
although it has been suggested
that older prisoners can be a
stabilising force and age-segregated
units can break constructive
relationships between younger and
older prisoners.194

RECOMMENDATION 11
States should assess the needs
of elderly prisoners, including
for rehabilitation, reintegration
and healthcare, to inform
prison regimes. Early release
mechanisms should be adopted
for elderly prisoners.
(SDGs 10 and 16)

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PRISON POPULATIONS

Lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender
and intersex
(LGBTI) people
In more than 70 countries, same-sex
relations are criminalised,195 and the
death penalty can still be applied for
same-sex relations in a number of
countries in Africa and Asia. There are
also laws that specifically criminalise
transgender persons based on their
gender identity or expression.196
Overall, there are no clear trends
regarding the de-criminalisation
of same-sex relations, with some
countries becoming increasingly
tolerant, including in Latin America,
North America and Europe, and others
more repressive.197
LGBTI people continue to be arrested
and imprisoned because of their
identity. Whilst in detention, they are
also frequently discriminated against,
harassed, and face serious violence
and even torture. In Chechnya, there
were widespread arrests of gay men,
who were held in unofficial detention
facilities for days, humiliated, starved,
and tortured.198 In Azerbaijan, reports
emerged of the torture of gay men
and transgender women because of
their sexual identity,199 and in Egypt,
2017 was marked by extensive arrests
and ill-treatment of LGBTI people on
charges of ‘debauchery’.200 A 2017
study from Costa Rica showed that
transgender people in prison lack
access to hormonal treatment and
face verbal and physical violence.201
A report in the US found that LGBTI
youth were over-represented in the
criminal justice system, faced bias
in court decisions regarding pre-trial
detention and sentencing, and were
at higher risk of being placed in
solitary confinement or segregated
units.202 In another finding, women
who identified as lesbian or bisexual
represented approximately a third
of imprisoned women in the US, a
proportion that is eight to 10 times
higher than the 3.4 per cent in the
general population.203

20 |	

New protection for LGBTI
people in detention
A new set of principles were
adopted in November 2017
to supplement the original
2006 Yogyakarta Principles on
international human rights law
relating to sexual orientation,
gender identity and expression,
and sex characteristics. A key
addition was Principle 9, relating
to the treatment of LGBTI people
in detention.

Some positive policies were put in
place to protect LGBTI people in
detention, but they were not always
effectively implemented. New rules
were introduced in California, US, for
hundreds of transgender prisoners
regarding clothing, medical care and
the prisons they are assigned to, but
authorities reported challenges in
implementation.204 In Thailand, the
Department of Corrections announced
plans to separate LGBTI prisoners
in different ‘zones’ within prisons to
ensure their safety and security.205 In
Canada, the federal prison service
adopted a new policy on transgender
prisoners206 and approved the
first-ever transfer of a transgender
prisoner to an institution based on their
gender identity, rather than physical
anatomy.207 An Israeli prison agreed
to allow a homosexual conjugal visit
for the first time, following a court
ruling that it was discriminatory not
to allow this.208

Principle 9 calls upon states to
ensure that placement in detention
avoids further marginalisation and
that LGBTI people have access
to the healthcare and counselling
that they need, including hormone
therapy and gender reassignment.
It also calls for protective measures
to be in place that do not involve
restriction of rights, the provision
of conjugal visits regardless of
the gender of the partner, and
training and awareness-raising
of prison staff.

additional principle specifically on the
right to treatment with humanity while
in detention.210 (See New protection
for LGBTI people in detention, above).

RECOMMENDATION 12
States should take measures
to protect LGBTI people
in detention, in line with
the Yogyakarta Principles.
Protection from violence and
stigmatisation should be
ensured, without restricting
rights, and adequate
healthcare must be provided,
including hormone therapy
and gender reassignment.
(SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

The UN increasingly raised the rights
of LGBTI prisoners during 2017209
and the ‘Yogyakarta Principles’
– Principles on the application of
international human rights law in
relation to sexual orientation and
gender identity – were updated and
strengthened. They now include an

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PRISON POPULATIONS

People with
disabilities
Aside from country-specific reports,
there is little data on the number
of people in prison with disabilities,
although trends suggest that the
growing prison population in most
countries and the significant increase
of older prisoners in some countries
have led to an increase in the number
of people with disabilities in prisons.
For example, people with disabilities
are over-represented in Australian
prisons, where they represent 18 per
cent of the country’s population
but almost 50 per cent of people
entering prison.211
Prisoners with physical disabilities
confront numerous challenges,
such as not having access to the
healthcare they require to manage
their disability; not receiving the
support they need with daily activities
such as eating, dressing and washing;
and being denied hearing aids, Braille
documents and interpreters, which
makes it impossible to participate in
rehabilitative activities.212 In a significant
ruling against Latvia, the European
Court of Human Rights found that
the anguish a deaf and mute prisoner
had suffered – from not being able
to communicate that he lacked the
necessary amount of personal space
in his cell – constituted inhuman or
degrading treatment.213
In the US there were several reports
on the failings of authorities to provide
for prisoners with disabilities. The
technology for deaf prisoners to
communicate with family and friends

by telephone was exposed as being
faulty and outdated,214 and a report
revealed the devastating harm caused
by placing prisoners with physical
disabilities in solitary confinement,
which is frequently imposed owing
to a lack of cells designed for their
needs.215 In Florida, more than
30 prisoners who are deaf, blind or
in wheelchairs claimed in court they
were not allowed to participate in jobs,
services and programmes available
to others.216
People in prison are disproportionately
affected by mental illness and prisons
frequently fail in providing adequate
mental health provision. Ill-treatment
of prisoners with mental illness is
also commonly reported. In Australia,
research indicated that half of all adult
prisoners have been diagnosed or
treated for a mental health problem
and 87 per cent of young people
in custody have a past or present
psychological disorder.217 The report
found that prisoners with mental health
disorders are at risk of spending days,
weeks, months and sometimes even
years locked up alone in detention
or safety units.218 A report by the
US Justice Department’s Inspector
General found that prisoners with
mental illnesses in federal prison
also spend, on average, more time
in solitary confinement or restrictive
housing than prisoners without
documented mental illnesses.219
In Belgium, hundreds of people with
mental disabilities continued to be
detained in inadequate prison wards.220

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

There is growing awareness of this
challenge, and there have been some
moves towards diverting people with
mental illness away from prison. A
ground-breaking law was passed in
South Africa that stops the automatic
imprisonment of accused persons
who are mentally ill or intellectually
disabled.221 In early 2018, the
Supreme Court in Brazil ruled that
persons with disabilities should not
be put into pre-trial detention.222 The
Canadian Correctional Ombudsperson
highlighted that women with serious
mental illness need to be placed in
psychiatric facilities outside of prison.223
A new report was published on
international good principles for
operational and design consideration
of prison facilities, in order to mitigate
the detrimental impact prisons have
on people with mental illness.224

RECOMMENDATION 13
States should collect data on
the number of people in prison
with disabilities, and review
their needs in order to inform
policy and practice, in line
with international standards.
This should include training
of staff and policies to protect
discriminatory treatment and
abuse, as well as architectural
measures. (SDGs 10 and 16)

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

PART FOUR

Prison
management
Security
and violence
A dynamic security approach to
prison management, which is based
on positive prisoner-staff relations
and prison intelligence, has become
more widely respected. There is also
greater appreciation for security as
an important precondition to effective
rehabilitation, although many prison
systems struggle to reduce excessive
levels of violence and deaths and to
address torture.
Deaths in custody due to
inter-prisoner violence or abuse and
neglect by prison staff continued to
be commonplace in many countries.
There was outrage in Guatemala after
41 adolescent girls were killed in a
fire in a state-run institution in March
2017. Officials and police officers were
charged with manslaughter, among
other charges, after the girls, allegedly
locked inside a room, died as a result
of burns and smoke inhalation.225 In
Argentina, the National Penitentiary
Office recorded eight ‘violent deaths’
of federal prisoners in the first half of
2017.226 Correction services in Papua
New Guinea called for an inquiry after
17 escapees were shot and killed by
prison guards in March 2017, although
the investigation has not yet started
due to a lack of funding.227 In the
US state of Alabama, eight people
were killed in prison during 2017,
representing the highest number
of prison homicides in the state
to date.228
Record levels of prisoner violence
were also reported in a number
of other prison systems such as
in New Zealand, where the Chief
Ombudsperson found ‘unacceptable’
rates of violence, after half of the
prisoners surveyed in one visit said
they had been assaulted.229 England
and Wales has witnessed a steady

22 |	

decline in safety in prisons since 2012
and statistics from September 2017
show a record high in the number of
self-harm and assault incidents. This
is attributed to reductions in staffing
and difficulties in retaining staff,
high levels of drug use (particularly
new psychoactive substances),230
overcrowding, and long-term shifts in
the nature of the prison population.231
Prison riots led to deaths in several
countries during 2017, including the
Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Congo
and South Africa.232 There were also
riots – fuelled by gang disputes – in
Latin American countries including
Guatemala, the Dominican Republic,
Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia.233
In Brazil, riots continued unabated
during 2017 with authorities struggling
to gain control of prisons. The Rio
state government released figures that
showed a 26 per cent rise in killings in
2017 compared to 2015.234 Fifty-six
people died in a riot in the Amazonas
city of Manaus and officials reported
some bodies were decapitated
and burned.235
Gangs continued to control many
prisons in Latin America; for example,
as many as 65 per cent of Mexico’s
state prisons are thought to be
controlled by organised crime groups.
Different measures to manage gangs
in prisons were tried in the region. The
El Salvadorian government extended
‘extraordinary measures’ to reduce
the control of the MS13 and Barrio
18 gangs, classified as terrorist
groups by the government, in the
country’s prisons. Honduras closed
a prison known to be a ‘criminal
hub’ in October 2017, opening a
new maximum-security prison in
its place.236

While reliable statistics on the scale of
the use of torture remain scarce – not
least due to under-reporting by the
many victims237 – there are indications
that torture is on the rise. UN antitorture experts noted in 2017 that
the absolute prohibition of torture is
‘challenged in the name of national
security across the globe’.238
Reports of the use of torture
reflect a common pattern: that it is
commonly used by law enforcement
agencies in the pre-trial stage to
extract confessions. (See Pre-trial
justice, page 10). For instance,
the UN Committee against Torture
noted that in Sri Lanka ‘in numerous
documented cases of torture, the
accused persons alleged that they
were forced to sign blank sheets of
paper or self-incriminatory statements
written in a language they did not
understand’.239 Furthermore, Amnesty
International has reported on torture
by authorities to extract ‘confessions’
in a number of countries, including
Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq,
Kuwait, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and
Turkmenistan.240

RECOMMENDATION 14
States should ensure the
safety of prisoners, including
through dynamic security
and safeguards to uphold
the absolute prohibition
of torture. There should be
adequate staff-prisoner ratios
to guarantee the exercise of
effective control of prison
facilities. (SDGs 10 and 16)

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

Hunger strikes in prison
Hunger strikes have long been
employed by prisoners – both
individuals and large groups – as
a form of protest and as an attempt
to make their voices heard regarding
poor conditions, violence and
mistreatment in detention, or injustice
in trial processes.

hunger strike following their
transfer to a high-security section
of Rajai-Shar prison, where they
were reportedly held in cells with
windows covered by metal sheets
and denied basic needs.244

In August 2017, more than 500
prisoners went on hunger strike in
Argentina protesting overcrowded
conditions, lack of access to healthcare
and poor hygiene, as well as the
treatment of a prisoner who was
wounded by rubber bullets and
chained to a wall for three days.241
In South Africa, the start of 2018 saw
96 life-sentenced prisoners go on
hunger strike to protest against unfair
delays in the parole process, with one
prisoner hospitalised.242

Responses to hunger strikes by prison
authorities vary but are frequently in
violation of international standards.
Some force-feed prisoners or deny
them medical treatment and others
take punishment measures. In Cuba,
prisoners on hunger strike ‘endure
extended solitary confinement,
beatings, restrictions on family
visits, and are denied medical
care’.245 Free medical care has been
refused to prisoners on hunger
strike in Russia,246 and in August
2017, a prisoner in Iran was refused
hospitalisation by prison authorities
for digestive complications following
his long-term hunger strike.247

The UN Special Rapporteur on
the human rights situation in
Iran expressed deep concern in
2017 243 about the situation of a
number of prisoners on prolonged

In 2017 the Israeli Prison Service
punished around 1,500 Palestinian
prisoners on hunger strike with
solitary confinement and denial of
family visits.248 In the military prison

in Guantánamo Bay, the US continued
to force-feed hunger strikers, and a
recent change in policy means that
their declining health is no longer
monitored.249
The UN Committee against Torture
has stated that force-feeding of
prisoners on hunger strike constitutes
ill-treatment and that measures,
including legislation, should be in
place to ensure that it is prevented.250
Furthermore, the World Medical
Association is clear that individuals
‘capable of forming an unimpaired
rational judgment concerning the
consequences…[of refusing food] shall
not be fed artificially’.251 It further
states that force-feeding is ‘never
ethically acceptable’ and hunger
strikers in prisons must be advised
on the effects of their actions, while
the decision to hunger strike must not
prejudice any other aspect of medical
care.252 The International Committee
of the Red Cross is similarly opposed
to force-feeding on grounds of
human dignity.253

Prison staff
On the one hand, there is growing
recognition of the importance of
investing in staff, and of the fact that
selection, recruitment and training
of staff is critical to effective prison
management and safety. On the
other hand, poor working conditions
persist. In June 2017, the Council of
Europe Conference of Directors of
Prison and Probation Services called
for new European standards on the
‘recruitment and selection criteria
of different levels of staff working in
prison and probation services, as well
as regarding their education, training
and professional development’,254 and
a handbook will be developed during
2018–19.255
Reports continued to emerge of prison
staff being attacked. For example, in
Scotland, data showed that a prison
staff member was attacked every two
days in 2016–17.256 In recent years
serious attacks against staff have been
reported in a large number of prison
systems, including in India, Canada
and the US.257
In many cases, assaults against staff
were linked to budget cuts or staff
shortages. In South Africa, where the
prison population of over 160,000 is

reported to be looked after by 26,000
prison officials, several major violent
incidents that led to serious injuries of
both corrections officials and prisoners
were blamed on staff shortages and
overcrowding.258
Prison staff continue to strike in
response to violence, staff shortages
and working conditions. For instance,
in early 2018, prison staff in France
went on strike in response to a series
of attacks, one of which involved a
prisoner convicted for terrorist-related
offences who attacked four staff
members with scissors and a razor
blade. After a series of strikes by
prison staff in England and Wales
and amid damning reports of the
impacts of budget cuts and staff
shortages, the UK Government
succeeded in obtaining a permanent
ban on industrial strikes from the
High Court.259
Female prison officers are a minority in
the sector and face distinct challenges
in their work. In the US a class-action
lawsuit involved more than 500 women
employed at the largest male federal
prison. They alleged harassment from
both co-workers and prisoners, sex
discrimination, and a hostile work

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

environment. The federal government
agreed to a settlement of USD$20
million, along with commitments
to reforms that would improve
employees’ safety.260 A female prison
officer in Northern Ireland received
compensation from the prison service
for discrimination, bullying and
harassment resulting from failure to
accommodate the fact that she was
breastfeeding on her return to work
after maternity leave.261
Positively, Rwanda has had success
in increasing the proportion of female
prison guards from 8 per cent in 2011
to 24 per cent in 2017, and there are
calls to increase numbers further still
to reach the country’s labour law quota
of 30 per cent.262

RECOMMENDATION 15
States should protect prison
staff from discrimination
and violence, including
gender-based violence.
Remuneration and working
conditions should reflect the
challenging nature of prison
work and encourage recruitment
of female correctional staff.
(SDGs 5, 8 and 16)

| 23

PRISON MANAGEMENT

A shortage of
qualified healthcare
staff continues to act
as a barrier to health
provision in prison
© Karla Nur, 2014

24 |	

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

Health
People in prison frequently have
complex health needs. There are
high rates of premature mortality
and mental health illness, as well as
disease resulting from unhygienic
prison conditions. The rates for HIV,
tuberculosis and other infectious
diseases among prisoners remain
much higher than in the general
community. The Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
estimates that people in prison are
on average five times more likely to
be living with HIV compared with
adults outside prisons,263 although a
higher estimate of 15 per cent is given
by the World Health Organization.264
A shortage of qualified healthcare staff
continues to act as a barrier to health
provision in prison. For example, in
Uganda, only 56 of 448 prison units
across the country have provision
for health clinics.265 Similarly, in
Bangladesh, there are 63 jails without
doctors.266 In Scotland, a government
report found that prisoners were not
receiving the healthcare they needed
because there were not enough prison
staff to transfer them to health centres
– 50 per cent of clinical time was
wasted due to missed appointments.267
Serious outbreaks of disease in prisons
in 2017 were seen in several countries.
In Yemen, PRI provided medicines to
treat the cholera outbreak in a prison
in the capital Sana’a; the International
Committee of the Red Cross estimated
that the cholera epidemic in the
country reached one million suspected
cases in December 2017.268 A cholera
outbreak at a Kisumu prison in Kenya
was also reported in July 2017,269 and
in Zimbabwe, a typhoid outbreak in the
capital Harare spread to two prisons in
early 2017, leading to an unconfirmed
number of prisoners’ deaths.270
One area where there has been
increasing attention at the international
level is in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in
prisons. The international community
has made various commitments,
notably in Goal 3 of the Sustainable
Development Goals which commits to
end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.
In May 2017, the UN Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
adopted a resolution on ensuring
access to measures for the prevention
of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
in prisons, urging states to ensure

comprehensive health services in
female prisons aimed at HIV prevention
and treatment.271 In 2017, UNAIDS
published a roadmap to accelerate
HIV prevention in 24 focus countries,
identifying restrictions on health
services in prisons as one reason
for insufficient progress towards
Goal 3. Significant funding to boost
efforts towards the target has been
dedicated by both governments and
foundations,272 although US President
Donald Trump proposed budget cuts
to HIV/AIDS programmes in 2018
totalling USD$800 million.273
Despite such commitments and the
identification by UNAIDS of prisoners
as a key population left behind in
responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic,
treatment provision and prevention
measures in prisons are non-existent
in some countries, and remain
wholly inadequate in many others.
For example, in Uganda only 33 of
448 prison facilities are accredited to
provide anti-retroviral treatment (ART),
and pre-trial detainees in Zimbabwe
have claimed that the acute shortage
of ART in prisons is life-threatening.274
The implementation of harm
reduction measures – evidencebased interventions to prevent

Smoking bans in prison
A large majority of people in prison
smoke tobacco, with prevalence rates
ranging from 64 to 90 per cent.278
Statistics indicate that more female
prisoners smoke, compared with
their male counterparts.279 In nearly
all countries, smoking is a normal
part of prison culture for a variety
of reasons, including boredom and
the stresses of being detained.
Aside from the direct impact
on health of smoking tobacco,
prisoners and staff face an ‘elevated
probability’ of being exposed to
second-hand smoke, due to the large
number of smokers in small spaces
that often have poor ventilation.280
Some prison systems have imposed
partial or full smoking bans in
prisons, although smoking bans
are mostly found in Europe, North
America and Australasia.281 Of 32
European countries where data was
collected, 25 have smoke-free cells in
some or all prisons.282 Smoking bans
have been the subject of legal battles,

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

the transmission of HIV – remains
politicised in states that adopt a
prohibitionist stance towards drug
use. In 2016, only eight countries
implemented Needle and Syringe
Programmes in at least one prison,
and they were entirely unavailable
to prisoners in seven out of the nine
regions reviewed by Harm Reduction
International.275
However, some positive moves
have been seen recently to reduce
high rates of drug overdose in the
immediate post-release period,
including provision of naloxone kits
(naloxone is used to treat narcotic
overdoses) upon release in Canada,276
and overdose prevention training in
Moldova and Ireland.277

RECOMMENDATION 16
Drug prevention and treatment
and HIV prevention, treatment
and care should be available
to people in prison at the same
level as that provided in the
community. Efforts to recruit
sufficient healthcare staff in
prisons should be doubled.
(SDGs 3 and 10)

including in Missouri, US where an
asthmatic prisoner succeeded in
a decade-long battle when a legal
settlement was reached in 2017
requiring the state’s prisons to go
smoke-free.283
Prison systems often fail to provide
cessation programmes alongside
smoking bans, leading to withdrawal
and increased levels of anxiety,
boredom and violence. Prisoners
rioted in Victoria, Australia when a
ban was introduced in 2015, and last
year a smoking ban across England
and Wales led to a rise in the use of
psychoactive substances and a rise
in violence.284 Smoking bans have also
led to cigarettes and nicotine patches
becoming sought-after contraband or
tradable commodities.285
The World Health Organization
warns that while smoking bans in
prisons have shown improvements in
air quality, there is limited available
evidence of their impact on stopping
people from smoking. Therefore
it recommends a comprehensive
strategy to change behaviour.286

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

Solitary
confinement
Solitary confinement – often also
labelled ‘segregation’, ‘isolation’,
‘lockdown’ or ‘supermax’ – is defined
by the Nelson Mandela Rules as the
‘confinement of prisoners for 22 hours
or more a day without meaningful
human contact’. With some notable
exceptions, it continues to be used
across the globe – including for
vulnerable groups such as prisoners
with disabilities and children – in
contravention of international
standards.287 This is despite increasing
recognition of its detrimental
psychological and physiological
effects,288 and of the economic
costs – one study found that solitary
confinement cells cost three times as
much to run as ordinary prison cells.289
New Zealand, for instance, saw a
151 per cent rise290 in the use of
solitary confinement over the five-year
period up until 2016, compared
to a 16 per cent rise in the prison
population.291 Around 8 per cent of
cases had been isolated for longer
than the 15-day limit imposed by
the Nelson Mandela Rules, and a
disproportionate number (62 per
cent) of prisoners placed in solitary
confinement were of Indigenous Maori
ˉ
or Pacific Island descent.292
Prisoners with mental or physical
health issues continue to be placed
in solitary confinement. In the US, a
report detailed how blind and deaf
prisoners in solitary confinement
experience a heightened form of
sensory deprivation as a result of

Canadian court rules
prolonged and indefinite
solitary confinement
unconstitutional
The British Columbia Supreme
Court of Canada ruled in January
2018 that ‘administrative
segregation’ used by Canadian
federal prisons constituted solitary
confinement, as defined by Rule
44 of the Nelson Mandela Rules.311
Significantly, the Court found that
prolonged segregation – defined by
the Nelson Mandela Rules as more

26 |	

their disability, and prisoners with
mobility disabilities are denied access
to necessary physical therapy and
prescription medications.293 In Japan,
where the overall use of solitary
confinement is falling, the number
of individuals in solitary confinement
for longer than 10 years increased
by over 50 per cent between the
years 2012 and 2016, and almost
half of these individuals were mentally
disabled.294 In Bahrain, concern has
been expressed about a human rights
defender and opposition leader who
has reportedly been kept in solitary
confinement for nine months, despite
having medical conditions that required
hospitalisation.295 The UN Committee
against Torture also observed in
Afghanistan that solitary confinement
is applied to persons with infectious
diseases and mental illness.296
However, in a positive contrast, an
alleged hacker successfully appealed
against extradition to the US from the
UK, partly on the basis that he would
likely be kept in solitary confinement,
where his physical and mental
conditions would be exacerbated.297
A disproportionate number of
suicides continued to occur in solitary
confinement.297 For example, a
quarter of prison suicides occurred
in segregation cells in the US state of
Texas, which hold only 2.7 per cent
of the prison population.299 In South
Africa, an investigation by the Judicial
Inspectorate for correctional services
was triggered after two prisoners

than 15 days – was unconstitutional,
noting that this was ‘a generous
standard given the overwhelming
evidence that even within that space
of time an individual can suffer
severe psychological harm’.312 In
August 2017 there were roughly
300 prisoners segregated in
federal prisons.313
The decision was hailed by the
British Columbia Civil Liberties
Association as ‘the most significant
trial court decision in the prison
context that we’ve seen in Canadian
history’.314 In February 2018, the
federal government announced they
would appeal the decision.315

committed suicide while in solitary
confinement within three months
of one another.300
A number of countries segregated
individuals suspected or convicted
of terrorism-related offences. This
included the Netherlands, where such
individuals were held in prolonged
solitary confinement in ‘special
terrorism prisons’, a practice that was
rebuked in a 2017 report by Amnesty
International and the Open Society
Justice Initiative.301 (See also Violent
extremism, page 28).
Prolonged solitary confinement also
continued to be used in several
countries such as Lebanon302 and
South Korea.303 In both countries,
prisoners can be segregated for
up to 30 consecutive days as a
disciplinary measure, a practice
criticised by the UN Committee
against Torture, which recalled the
Nelson Mandela Rules prohibition
on prolonged solitary confinement.304
The use of solitary confinement
for children continued, despite a
prohibition in international standards.305
In Australia, authorities defended
the placement of two teenagers in
solitary confinement for over 250
days each,306 and the case of a child
held in solitary confinement for over
100 days in the UK was found, in
court, not to constitute inhuman or
degrading treatment.307 Armenia’s
retention of the practice as a
disciplinary measure for juveniles was
criticised by the UN Committee against
Torture.308 In the US however, there
were significant moves towards the
elimination of solitary confinement for
juveniles, following a ban on its use in
federal prisons.309
Some countries saw limits being
imposed on or a reduction in the
use of solitary confinement. There
was a substantial overall drop in the
use of ‘administrative segregation’
in Canadian prisons: in August 2017
approximately 300 prisoners were
segregated, a decrease from 800
in 2014.310 This coincided with a
significant judgment from the Supreme
Court of British Columbia declaring the
use of both prolonged and indefinite
solitary confinement unconstitutional,

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

GLOBAL PRISON TRENDS
SPECIAL FOCUS 2018

THE REHABILITATION AND
REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDERS
IN THE ERA OF SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT

Pull-out section

SPECIAL FOCUS

The rehabilitation and
reintegration of offenders
in the era of sustainable
development
Fair and effective criminal justice systems can play a vital role in ensuring
sustainable and inclusive development for all. This section builds on the
Special Focus of Global Prison Trends 2017, ‘The Sustainable Development
Goals and Criminal Justice’. It explores how the rehabilitation and
reintegration of offenders back into their communities can incorporate
a broader developmental perspective, contributing to the goals set out
in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Reviewing criminal justice policy
through the development lens1
With the adoption of the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development by the United
Nations General Assembly in
2015, UN member states renewed
their commitment to making
the world a better place for
generations to come. Through
Goal 16, which promotes peace,
justice and the rule of law,
the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) recognise that
development efforts are closely
linked with the justice sector.
The rehabilitation and reintegration
of offenders, a primary aim
of criminal justice systems,
has traditionally focused on
changing the behaviour of the
individual and improving their
situation, for example through
providing housing or helping
them to find employment.

2 |	

A development-led approach can
bring a wider perspective to this
work by looking not only at the
impact of rehabilitation on the
individual offender but also the
impact on their community and
on wider society. By applying
a development ‘lens’ to the
rehabilitation and reintegration
of offenders, including through
targeted interventions for specific
vulnerable groups, the scope
of criminal justice interventions
is broadened beyond their
traditional boundaries.
Development and justice
organisations have tended
to operate in isolation from
each other. For states to fulfil
their commitment to ‘leave no
one behind’, there needs to
be improved integration and
cooperation, so that criminal

justice actors can work together
with other sectors, including the
private sector and civil society,
as well as with authorities working
in areas such as health, housing
and education.
In many parts of the world,
programmes and measures are
already in place that follow the
basic principles of this kind of
integrated approach. This Special
Focus outlines four promising
practices, and it is hoped that
these will inspire those working in
criminal justice systems to support
the achievement of the SDGs, and
to take advantage of an integrated
multi-agency approach to
improve their work in the effective
rehabilitation and reintegration
of offenders.

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THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDERS IN THE ERA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Promising practices guided
by development-led perspectives
The following four initiatives
illustrate how targeted criminal
justice interventions can contribute
to sustainable development.

The initiatives have some common
elements, notably a willingness
to take into consideration the

needs of vulnerable groups and
to address discrimination and
social exclusion.

Integrated support
for the reintegration
of women offenders
in Thailand
In recent years, the Thai prison
system has explored how
development-led approaches can
be used in the rehabilitation and
reintegration of prisoners. These
approaches have largely sought
to overcome unemployment, which
is a key barrier to reintegration for
women when leaving prison, given
their high levels of poverty and the
stigmatisation and discrimination
they face.

A more recent initiative from 2017
is a training course for women
prisoners on how to work within
small and medium-size enterprises
(SMEs).3 The course equips
them with skills to start their own
business, leading to sustainable
employment opportunities. The
Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ)
is working in collaboration with the
SME Promotion and Development
Trade Association on this initiative.

Initiatives have included the
establishment of the ‘Lila Thai
Massage Ex-Inmate Employment
and Skill Development Centre’, set
up in Chiang Mai in 2014, which
offers employment upon release
for graduates from the Chiang
Mai women prison’s massage
training programme. The women
earn the equivalent of USD$950
per month, which is more than
twice the average monthly income
in Thailand (about USD$450).2
The Centre, in response to the
increasing demand, has now
expanded its service to cover six
locations in the city of Chiang Mai.

In 2018, the ‘Model Prison
Plus (+)’ project4 was developed
in Thailand to promote
comprehensive rehabilitation
programmes. The aim of the
project is to build the knowledge
and skills of prisoners through
intensive courses on financial
planning and debt literacy
programmes, and to provide
comprehensive psychological
support to help them return
to society and to the job market.
The SME training course
mentioned above has been
integrated into this project;
for example, new opportunities

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

are identified by prisoners and
staff, with the help from the
SME instructors and the SME
Promotion and Development
Trade Association.
The aim of these rehabilitative
programmes is to reduce rates
of reoffending and combat
the discrimination that women
prisoners often experience on
release. At the same time, they
address underlying issues and
barriers to development, notably
gender inequality and poverty,
whilst promoting sustained and
inclusive economic growth and
decent work.

|3

SPECIAL FOCUS

Improving reintegration
services for youth offenders
in Jamaica to tackle
developmental impacts
of youth violence
The issues around Caribbean
youth and their involvement in
crime and violence are complex,
and include high levels of youth
unemployment, poor educational
opportunities, ‘feelings of
voicelessness’, and exclusion from
national and regional governance
processes.5 In many cases, youth
violence is a response to the threat
and fear of victimisation and has
its roots in endemic community
violence. The UN Development
Programme has concluded that
‘youth violence is more than a
security concern. It is a major
human development problem’.6
The project ‘A New Path’ in
Jamaica has sought to address
this complex mix of societal,
community, inter-personal and
individual factors leading to
widespread youth violence,
by improving the availability
and quality of reintegration
services, technical training
and psychosocial support
services for convicted youth.

4 |	

This development-led approach
involves a range of bodies,
including the Organization of
American States, the Ministry of
National Security, the Department
of Correctional Services of
Jamaica, civil society, and the
private sector. Youth in detention
facilities are trained on marketable
technical skills and life skills, and
given individualised psychosocial
support to enable their successful
reintegration into society. The
project assists them upon
release in accessing educational,
vocational and internship or
employment opportunities, while
providing comprehensive case
management for six to 12 months
after release.
Approximately 950 young people
have received assistance through
the project, and 385 girls and
boys have successfully completed
educational, recreational and
vocational courses that ranged
from classical music and
life skills to crafts and yoga.
Post-release support has been

provided by 17 social workers
across the country to 580 boys
and girls released from two
institutions. Under the scheme,
42 young people have been
offered apprenticeships or jobs
through partnerships with the
private sector. An additional 51
benefitted from extensive training
in entrepreneurship during a
one-week residence programme,
with 21 awarded micro-grants to
start their own business. In 2018,
the activities of the project will be
expanded from two facilities to all
four institutions for youth offenders
in the country.
The objective of the project is
to address the developmental
impacts of youth violence by
responding to the protection
needs of these marginalised
young people. The project
mitigates the damage caused by
contact with the criminal justice
system by providing decent
work and targeted support
with reintegration.

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THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDERS IN THE ERA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Reform to erase
criminal records
of offenders with
vulnerabilities
in Costa Rica7
Criminal records often constitute
a significant barrier for offenders
to gaining employment and living
law-abiding lives after release
from prison. The primary purpose
of criminal records is to provide
criminal justice practitioners,
such as law enforcement officers,
prosecutors, probation officers
and judges, with information
on the past criminal activity of
an individual – information that
may affect decisions on bail and
sentence. However, criminal
records are widely used for other
purposes, in particular in the
employment sector, as well as in
the provision of public housing and
for the right to vote and the right
to receive welfare. Employers may
request to review a criminal record
during the recruitment process,
which can result in exclusion
from obtaining employment
in the formal economy. This
can have particularly serious
consequences for women,
their families and dependents,
as women already suffer from
labour market exclusion and
social discrimination.

A legislative reform in Costa Rica
since January 2017 has sought
to overcome these difficulties by
incorporating a development-led
approach. Policymakers have
reconsidered how decisions
taken within the criminal justice
system can also have an impact
on the possibility of productive
and decent work for all. It seeks to
address systemic issues leading
to unemployment and labour
discrimination in private and
public sectors.
The new law permits courts to
erase a criminal record. The law
outlines criteria for the court to
take into account, which include
the length of the sentence,
the offence committed and,
when relevant, the ‘situation of
vulnerability’ of the offender. While
the reform does not specifically
target women, they are likely
to benefit as the majority of
non-violent female offenders are
imprisoned for property crimes or
small-scale drug-related offences,
often committed in a context of
vulnerability and poverty. In the
past, such women struggled to

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

gain employment because of their
criminal record, despite having
relevant work experience and
skills; this in turn perpetuates
cycles of poverty and recidivism.
The law is applicable for people
imprisoned for minor offences
(carrying a penalty of five years
of imprisonment or less) who
have served their sentence. The
offender must have been in a
situation of vulnerability (such
as poverty, social exclusion and
discrimination) at the time that
the offence was committed.
The record may be erased
immediately or between three
to five years after their release,
which is significantly less than
the previous 10-year requirement.
It remains to be seen what
situation would constitute
‘vulnerability’ under the reform,
and currently this is at the full
discretion of the judge in each
case. Thus, while the initiative
is an illustration of good
emerging practice, its successful
implementation remains to
be seen.

|5

SPECIAL FOCUS

Economic empowerment
of offenders serving
community service
sentences in Kenya8
Together with the Kenya
Probation and Aftercare Service,
Penal Reform International
implemented an innovative project
to disrupt the poverty-prison
cycle through improving and
increasing the use of community
service – a humane and
effective alternative to custodial
sentences. The initiative adopted
a development-led approach by
tackling poverty, inequality and
gender disempowerment. It sought
to reduce the unnecessary use of
imprisonment in recognition of its
negative and long-lasting effects
for both the imprisoned individual
and their family. Imprisonment
leads to hidden impacts for family
and communities, including being
unable to buy food or afford school
fees, as well as stigmatisation.
For women in prison, there are
greater chances of them losing
their home, livelihood, partner
and access to their children.
Therefore, efforts were focused on
increasing the use of community
service orders which allow for
prison to be avoided, and ensuring
that offenders are economically
empowered to lift them and their
families out of poverty. Poverty is
frequently cited as the reason for
minor offending in the country and

6 |	

this was therefore a key challenge
to overcome in the rehabilitation
of offenders.
One outcome of this project,
which was implemented
between 2014–2016 in Kenya,
was economic empowerment
opportunities for former
offenders who completed their
community service sanction.
Entrepreneurial training was
provided alongside a small
investment to allow individuals
to open a basic business, so that
they could support themselves
and their families, thereby reducing
reoffending. Probation officers
worked closely with individuals to
identify what kind of investment
would help to prevent their
previous poverty-related offending.
The most popular option was to
receive initial resources for the
selling of cereals and groceries,
and other businesses included
poultry farming and carpentry.

him being fully accepted by his
community because he was
financially stable and more able
to take care of his dependents.
In order to address the stigma
faced by offenders, this project
also improved the public
awareness and understanding of
community service. For example,
court open days were held for the
public to visit and find out about
the work of the criminal justice
system, while engagement with the
media increased positive coverage
of community-based sentences in
the press.
This initiative demonstrates
the potential of alternatives
to imprisonment, such as
community service, to support the
achievement of the Sustainable
Development Goals – including the
reduction of poverty and gender
inequality – in a way that supports
both desistance and sustainable
community development.

The transformational impact of
this development-led approach
is illustrated in the case of one
offender, who benefitted from an
empowerment grant which saw
him receive a toolbox kit that
helped him secure employment as
a mason. Probation staff witnessed

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDERS IN THE ERA OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Conclusion
Many offenders are locked in
a vicious cycle of poverty and
crime. To break this, criminal
justice actors and those working
on development issues need to
work more closely together to
address the vulnerabilities and
disadvantages of the most atrisk groups. Reviewing the policy
objectives of crime prevention
and the treatment of offenders
through a sustainable development
lens can open up a space for
stronger alignment of objectives
and programming between
development and criminal policy,
and could change the way many
crime and violence prevention
strategies are oriented and
implemented in practice.
The large majority of people in
prison come from low-income
urban neighbourhoods and poor

rural communities, and they are
not empowered to achieve their
true potential. A development-led
approach seeks to put people at
the centre and promote human
security and development.
Depending on the needs of the
individuals and local communities,
the development-led approach can
involve initiatives that foster skills
training to improve employment
opportunities, promote gender
equality, allow children to grow
up in safe environments in stable
and nurturing relationships,
reduce violence against women
and children, and shift damaging
cultural and social norms.
There is no one-size-fits-all or
quick-win solution, but successful
initiatives in one country and in one
context can spark consideration
of whether some of the underlying

ideas can be adapted elsewhere.
Much can be achieved by
rethinking the challenges and by
investing our efforts in tackling
difficult issues now, thus working
for a sustainable future.

RECOMMENDATION 17
States should develop criminal
justice and prison policies
with full consideration of their
relevance and importance
for achieving the Sustainable
Development Goals of the 2030
Agenda, so that ‘no one is left
behind’ and criminal justice
systems play their part to
contribute to a just, equitable,
tolerant, open and socially
inclusive world, in which the
needs of the most vulnerable
are met.

Endnotes
All website links cited were accurate
at the time of going to press in April 2018.
1	 This Special Focus is based partly on
discussions at the regional colloquium,
‘Empowering Vulnerable Communities
and Women for Sustainable Development’,
organised by the Thailand Institute of
Justice in partnership with the UN Office
on Drugs and Crime, 25–26 January
2018, www.tijthailand.org/main/en/
content/569.html.
2	 ‘Thailand average monthly wages’, Trading
Economics, 2017, tradingeconomics.com/
thailand/wages.

3	 Thailand Institute of Justice, Summary
report: The Bangkok Rules 7th Anniversary
Conference: “Beyond the Prison Walls:
Multi-stakeholder Perspectives on Prisoner
Rehabilitation and Reintegration”, (only
available in Thai), held in Bangkok, Thailand,
21 December 2017, www.tijthailand.org/
useruploads/files/2018/MAR/IBR_7anni_
Summary_Report.pdf.
4	Ibid.
5	UNDP, Caribbean Human Development
Report 2012, Human Development and the
Shift to Better Citizen Security, 2012, p45.
6	Ibid.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

7	 Ernesto Cortés and Zhuyem Molina, Criminal
Record Reform in Costa Rica: A Step toward
Proportionality and Improved Prospects
For Women’s Lives after Prison, Costa Rican
Association for Research and Intervention
in Drugs (Asociación Costarricense para el
Estudio e Intervención en Drogas, ACEID)
and Washington Office on Latin America,
29 June 2017, www.wola.org/analysis/
criminal-record-reform-costa-rica-steptoward-proportionality-improved-prospectswomens-lives-prison/.
8	 Penal Reform International, Excellence in
Training on Rehabilitation in Africa (ExTRA)
Project, Community service as an alternative
to imprisonment: Pilot project final
evaluation, 2016.

|7

GLOBAL PRISON TRENDS
SPECIAL FOCUS 2018

The rehabilitation
and reintegration
of offenders in the
era of sustainable
development
Pull-out section

Penal Reform International
www.penalreform.org
Twitter: @PenalReformInt

Thailand Institute of Justice
www.tijthailand.org
Email: info@tijthailand.org

PRISON MANAGEMENT

citing the Nelson Mandela Rules316
and the effects of the practice.
(See Canadian court rules prolonged
and indefinite solitary confinement
unconstitutional, page 26).
In Ireland, new data has shown that
the number of prisoners in 22 and
23-hour ‘restricted regimes’ fell to
nine in October 2017, from 211 in
July 2013.317 Factors in this shift
included an amendment to the Irish
Prison Rules, entitling all prisoners
to two hours out-of-cell time, with
opportunity for meaningful human

contact,318 as well as the introduction
of a policy on the elimination of
solitary confinement by the Irish Prison
Service.319 Finally, in the US, Texas
prisons ended the use of solitary
confinement as a disciplinary measure,
citing its lack of rehabilitative impact,320
although the practice is retained as a
measure to remove prisoners deemed
problematic or potentially dangerous
and nearly 4,000 prisoners remain in
solitary confinement.321

RECOMMENDATION 18

prison in the Netherlands has built a
wing which includes a family room
where fathers and children can play or
do homework together unsupervised.
They will also have the possibility to
use Skype to talk to their children
at home.328

growing trend for video visits to replace
face-to-face contact visits with family
and friends entirely.334

In line with the Nelson Mandela
Rules and the Bangkok Rules,
states should prohibit both
indefinite and prolonged
solitary confinement, as well as
for certain groups, as stipulated
in international standards. It
should only be used as a last
resort in exceptional cases,
and then should only be applied
for the shortest time possible
and be subject to regular,
independent review. (SDG 16)

Contact with
the outside world
The availability and forms of contact
with the outside world by prisoners
varies greatly from country to country.
Evidence has shown that prison visits
and contact with family and friends
helps reduce recidivism. For example,
a 2017 review by the UK’s Ministry
of Justice found that prisoners who
receive visits from families or partners
have a 39 per cent lower reoffending
rate than those who have no visits.322
Some innovative schemes for
enhancing family visits have been
adopted recently. In Singapore,
prisoners were encouraged to
develop a closer relationship with
their families during a four-hour-long
‘Family Day’, where they mixed
freely instead of being separated by
glass.323 Similarly, in Zimbabwe, ‘Family
Weeks’ have been introduced to
promote closer relationships between
prisoners and families.324 An NGO
in Italy organised football matches
inside prisons for prisoners and their
children, to promote more normal
and enjoyable visits.325 For the first
time, open visits will be possible for
women with children and pregnant
women in Cambodia, following a new
Ministerial regulation.326
A privately-run prison in Wales
expanded a successful scheme in
which prisoners meet regularly with
their child’s teacher to discuss their
school work. This allows parents to
be informed of their child’s progress
at school and can also reduce the risk
of reoffending.327 Based on this same
model of focusing directly on parents’
relationships with their children, a

The allocation of prisoners far from
their communities remains an issue.
The European Court of Human Rights
delivered a verdict that imprisoning
prisoners thousands of miles away
from their relatives in Russia violated
their right to family life.329 The Court
held that the distance between the
penal facilities and the homes of the
prisoners’ families – ranging from
2,000 to 8,000 kilometres – was so
great that it had inflicted hardship.
Technology is increasingly used to
facilitate contact with family and
friends. A pilot in Bangladesh will
allow prisoners to make calls to two
phone numbers twice a month,330 and
France has announced that landline
phones will be installed in prison cells,
in recognition that contact with family
and particularly children is an important
component of rehabilitation.331
In the UK, a voicemail system for
prisoners to regularly exchange
messages with family and friends was
evaluated – prisoners and families alike
said that it had a positive effect on
health and wellbeing, relationships and
social ties, and the solving of practical
problems.332 Video visitation continued
to be rolled out in the US. At least 600
facilities have it in place, although there
are concerns about the quality of the
sound and picture,333 as well as the

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

The costly expense of making phone
calls was another area of concern
in the US. Following outrage from
prisoners and their advocates, a
price cap was introduced in 2015
by a Federal Commission; however,
in 2017 a court ruled that price limits
for in-state calls (not out-of-state
calls) could not be imposed by the
Commission.335 In Germany, by
contrast, the Constitutional Court
ruled against the overpricing of phone
calls made by prisoners, saying that
disregarding the economic interests
of prisoners violates their constitutional
right to rehabilitation and that private
providers must offer phone services
at fair market prices.336

RECOMMENDATION 19
States should facilitate contact
between prisoners and their
family and friends through
regular, affordable and easy
access to mail, telephones
and other communications,
as well as through visits
in a clean, respectful and
safe environment.

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

Rehabilitation
and reintegration
In recent years, fulfilling the
rehabilitative purpose of prisons
has become a higher priority.
This is demonstrated in political
commitments, such as the Doha
Declaration adopted at the UN Crime
Congress in 2015,337 and a number
of creative measures adopted to assist
in prisoners’ rehabilitation.

A study that analysed data on nearly
six million prisoners in the US found
that by raising the minimum wage,
recidivism rates decreased.341 Another
report showed that criminal records
from offences committed more than
10 years ago – many irrelevant to
the job applied for – were preventing
former offenders from getting jobs.342

For instance, in the Indian state of
Haryana, 600 cows will be provided
to six jails where prisoners will be
responsible for their upkeep. The
programme seeks to use the cows
(holy in the Hindu religion) to assist in
improving both the psychological and
physical health of prisoners involved.338
Psychotherapy (using theatrical
drama) has been introduced across
China’s prisons to boost rehabilitation
efforts.339 There is also a growing trend
in prison university partnerships,340
which provide important education
opportunities for people in prison and
support better reintegration.

There remains an issue with
providing the right vocational and
skills training that will help prisoners
gain employment. For instance, in
Canada, the Correctional Investigator
criticised the type of skills training
available to prisoners as it did not
match labour market demands,
preventing meaningful employment
on release.343 It was also pointed out
by the European Committee on the
Prevention of Torture that all too often
‘female prisoners are offered activities
deemed “appropriate” for them (such
as sewing or handicrafts), and are
excluded from far more vocational
training reserved for men’.344

Research demonstrates that
unemployment and low pay are key
barriers to reintegration for people
released from prison, and challenges
include criminal records and a lack
of marketable skills.

It outlines the benefits of such
programmes, citing research findings
that link education and vocational
opportunities in prison with a reduction
in recidivism and an increase in
employment post-release. The manual
includes a set of checklists for prison
administrations to use in developing,
implementing and monitoring
rehabilitation programmes.

RECOMMENDATION 20
States should develop and
implement individualised
rehabilitation and reintegration
programmes that address
root causes of offending and
key barriers. Any skills and
vocational training should take
account of the employment
market to boost chances of
employment post-release.
Programmes for women should
not reinforce gender stereotypes.
(SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 16)
(See Special Focus section)

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime
has developed a new manual to
assist prisons in developing effective
rehabilitation programmes.345

Violent extremism
in prison

28 |	

At national, regional and international
levels, there is a continued interest in
the management of violent extremist
prisoners, as well as policies to prevent
the radicalisation of prisoners and
interventions to disengage violent
extremist prisoners and ensure their
social reintegration. Prisons are seen
as places where prisoners are at risk
of radicalisation, but they are also
recognised as environments where
there are significant opportunities
for disengagement.

including the underlying social and
psychological dynamics behind
prisoner radicalisation, the dynamics
of disengagement from violence by
violent extremist prisoner groups or
gangs, and children who are violent
extremist offenders. It also found
that there is a lack of evaluation of
prison and probation programmes
aimed at extremist offenders and
scarce understanding of challenges
that such prisoners face upon release
from prison.

A 2017 review of current research
concluded that there are still
glaring gaps in the understanding
of violent extremism in prisons.346
The study identified specific
aspects that need further analysis,

To address the relatively new
challenges faced in this area, prison
systems have exchanged information
about interventions, and guidance
continues to be developed. The
Handbook on the Management of

Violent Extremist Prisoners and the
Prevention of Radicalization to Violence
in Prisons 347 from the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC) identifies
three crucial areas: prison staff training,
risk management and rehabilitation
efforts, and concludes that full
implementation of the Nelson Mandela
Rules is the strongest approach. This
was also echoed by the Organization
for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE), which states that one
of the ‘principal – and near-universal
– lessons is that prison overcrowding
makes the situation worse, because
it provides terrorists and radicalisers
with opportunities to spread their
messages. Long before thinking

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

There remains
an issue with
providing the right
vocational and
skills training that
will help prisoners
gain employment

© Karla Nur, 2014

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

| 29

PRISON MANAGEMENT

about more ambitious schemes, safe
and orderly prisons should be every
government’s first priority’.348
Other guidance that is underway
includes a guide for detention monitors
outlining how to address issues related
to responses to violent extremism and
radicalisation in monitoring work. This
will be published in 2018 by the OSCE
and PRI.349
One of the main challenges in this
area is how prison staff can accurately
identify violent extremist prisoners or
those at risk of being radicalised by
others. The European Organisation
of Prison and Correctional Services
has compiled a list of existing training
materials for front-line staff and is
finalising a screening tool that seeks
to assist prison staff of different levels
to detect so-called ‘vulnerable’ and
‘radicalised’ prisoners as part of a
regional project.350
There are a number of specific risk
assessment tools that are in use in
some countries for violent extremist
offenders and those suspected of
being radicalised or of influencing
others.351 It is generally accepted
that each individual has to be
assessed according to their particular

What happens to
prisoners during natural
disasters?
Prisoners are entirely dependent on
authorities to ensure their health
and safety during natural disasters
such as tropical storms, earthquakes,
floods and landslides. By virtue of
their detention they are unable to
evacuate to safer areas or access
basic supplies, and without adequate
preparedness and planning they can
be at considerable risk. Their inherent
vulnerability can be heightened when
prisons are badly constructed, have
poor sanitation, are overcrowded, and
have high proportions of ill, elderly,
disabled and illiterate prisoners.
Fatalities and injuries have occurred
as a result of negligence/inaction
and abuse during emergencies.
For example, during and after
Hurricane Katrina in 2015, thousands
of men, women and children were
abandoned at the main prison in
the US city of New Orleans. Power
was lost, and prison staff left whilst
prisoners were stuck in locked cells
with rising water levels.360 In the
aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in

30 |	

circumstances, and there is no
‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for decisions
around classification, segregation
or dispersal, and rehabilitation
requirements. Furthermore, the
UNODC Handbook stresses the
importance of being gender sensitive
when undertaking risk assessments,
given the complexity of women’s
involvement in violent extremism.
Difficult decisions have to be
made as to whether prisoners
categorised as ‘violent extremist’ or
‘radicalised’ and those deemed ‘at
risk’ of being radicalised should be
integrated into the mainstream prison
population or segregated. Some
countries moved towards increased
segregation, despite criticisms that
this can over-estimate the risks and
under-estimate the moderating effects
of exposure to other prisoners for
extremist prisoners. The Netherlands
faced serious criticism for its policy of
concentrating extremist prisoners in
units where they were found to face
inhuman conditions and were held
in de facto solitary confinement.352
France announced that 1,500 places
in separate prison wings will be set
up for what the government termed
‘radicalised’ prisoners.353 In the UK,

Nepal, 16 prisoners were killed and
more than 90 injured when a prison
collapsed.361 In Haiti, during the chaos
following the earthquake in 2010,
eight police officers were found guilty
of murdering at least 20 prisoners they
said were attempting to escape.362
Some countries have made progress
in adopting disaster risk reduction363
policies in prisons. These have
included a focus on preventing
hazards, reducing vulnerability,
and building upon the capacity and
resilience of prisoners themselves
to respond to disasters. For instance,
a prison in Taiwan is self-sufficient
on renewable energy,364 and in
South Africa, prisons have access
to aquifers during droughts.365 In
the Philippines, new jails have been
built on embankments to prevent
flooding, and in a women’s prison
in a flood-prone area, prisoners have
been prepared through emergency
drills to respond rapidly in the
event of an evacuation.366 In New
Zealand, beds are reserved in one
prison in case they are needed after
a natural disaster, although recently
the Department of Corrections
was forced to use these due to
increasing prisoner numbers.367

following a Ministry of Justice review
in 2016 which found that extremism
is a growing problem in prison,354
there were plans to establish three
specialist ‘separation centres’ to
hold prisoners charged or convicted
of terrorist-related offences, and a
taskforce of counter-terrorism experts
was formed to advise and train
prison staff.355 In Australia, plans were
announced to upgrade an existing
prison to create a ‘Supermax II’ facility
for ‘radicalised’ prisoners.356
Programmes on de-radicalisation,
disengagement and rehabilitation were
developed in many countries, and the
UNODC emphasised that these should
not have a negative impact on the
delivery of rehabilitation programmes
to the ‘regular’ prison population.357
A multi-disciplinary approach to
rehabilitation has proved effective
in many contexts. Theologians and
psychologists were deployed in
Kyrgyzstan to work with radicalised
prisoners,358 and in Italy, an agreement
was made with the Union of Italian
Islamic Communities whereby Imams
make regular visits to prisons and train
prison staff on how to accommodate
the needs of Muslim prisoners.359 The
UN Mission in Somalia supported

Prison authorities commonly respond
to natural disasters in an ad-hoc
manner however, and further attention
should be paid to building the capacity
of prisoners to act when disasters
strike and to preventing risks. For
example, hazards should be taken into
account when building prison facilities
and the allocation of keys should
ensure prisoners can be evacuated in
a natural disaster.368 Prisons should
also be systematically integrated into
disaster risk reduction policies at local
and national levels.
There are some initiatives to involve
prisoners in assistance during natural
disasters, or in their aftermath. For
years, California’s prison system in the
US has operated ‘conservation camps’,
in which prisoners volunteer to
undertake manual labour like clearing
brush to prevent forest fires or fighting
the fires themselves both inside of
the prison and in communities.369 This
initiative allows prisoners to learn new
skills and spend time outside prison,
and saves the state considerable
spend.370 Following an earthquake in
New Zealand in 2010, prisoners were
involved in repairing, restoring and
rebuilding houses, thereby learning
employable skills and contributing
to reconstruction efforts.371

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

PRISON MANAGEMENT

prison authorities with the rehabilitation
and reintegration of convicted former
Al-Shabaab or associated fighters
through psycho-social intervention and
increased community engagement in
both the pre-release and post-release
phases.372 In the US, there was
reported success with an innovative
programme for the rehabilitation of
those convicted of violent extremist
offences in Boston, Los Angeles
and Minneapolis. The programme
is intensive and individualised, and
consists of counselling, philosophy,
literature and writing essays and
poetry, as well as close monitoring
by authorities and restricted
internet use.373

There was growing interest in
the treatment of children who
are involved in violent extremism.
Following publication of the Neuchâtel
Memorandum on Juvenile Justice
in 2016,374 which sets out key
standards and good practices
in responding to children in a
counter-terrorism context, further
guidelines were issued by the Global
Counterterrorism Forum focusing
specifically on rehabilitating children
in detention convicted of violent
extremist offences.375 In 2017, the
UNODC published a comprehensive
handbook on the treatment of children
in the context of violent extremism
that reaffirmed the importance of

applying international standards
regarding children in conflict with
the law, regardless of the severity
of the offence.376

RECOMMENDATION 21
Implementation of the Nelson
Mandela Rules should be
prioritised in any strategy to
prevent radicalisation and
violent extremism in prison.
States should adopt individual
risk and needs assessments that
are grounded in human rights.
Further research should be done
on women-specific aspects
of radicalisation and violent
extremism. (SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

Fragile and
conflict-affected states
Fragile and conflict-affected states
continue to experience formidable
challenges in administering effective
criminal justice and prison systems,
including inadequate resources, a
lack of political support, outdated
legislation, weak infrastructure,
overcrowding, corruption, the
inability to prevent and respond to
violent incidents, and insufficiently
trained staff.
Overcrowding – which is
demonstrative of failing justice systems
– is a common feature in many states
and can lead to fatalities. In Haiti,
the country with the highest prison
occupancy rate in the world377 and
an estimated 80 per cent of prisoners
in pre-trial detention, it was reported
in early 2017 that many prisoners
were dying of malnutrition and mass
funerals were being held.378 During a
riot in a prison in Papua New Guinea,
17 prisoners were shot dead amid
allegations of overcrowding and severe
shortages of food and resources.379
In South Sudan a four-month-long
strike by judges that paralysed the
criminal justice system resulted in
severe congestion in prisons, leading
to the main prison in the capital, Juba,
holding three times the number of
people than its official capacity.380
In Côte d’Ivoire, which has a prison
occupancy level of over 200 per
cent,381 100 prisoners escaped from
a prison.382 The Independent National
Commission on Human Rights of

Liberia reported deteriorating prison
conditions, and prisoners reported
overcrowding, no proper medication,
inadequate food, limited toilet facilities
and a lack of access to courts.383
Prisons in conflict settings continued
to be used for arbitrary detention
and torture in breach of international
law. There were reports from Human
Rights Watch that the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) had supported Yemeni
forces in the arbitrary detention, forced
disappearance and torture of dozens
of people during security operations,
and that the UAE also runs at least two
informal detention facilities.384 There
were further accounts of atrocities
in Syria’s prisons, including against
women specifically,385 and Amnesty
International reported that nearly
18,000 people had died in custody
since the crisis began in 2011.386
In Libya, the criminal justice system
has all but collapsed and prisoners are
held in government-run and militia-run
facilities, often for long periods of time
without charge.387 UN reports on the
militia-run detention, which largely
house migrants, exposed a systematic
pattern of human rights abuses,388 and
harsh conditions were also found in
government-run detention centres.389
In Iraq, hundreds of so-called Islamic
State suspects, including children,
were held in overcrowded jails without
charge and foreign nationals were in
legal limbo.390

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

In 2017, the UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations provided
support to national prison authorities
in countries including the Central
African Republic, Haiti, Darfur, Liberia
and Somalia. In Libya, the UN mission
established joint committees in prisons
with high pre-trial rates in order to
reduce the pre-trial population, which
stands at 75 per cent.391 In 2017,
PRI embarked on a programme
in the Central African Republic to
develop a strategy for demilitarisation
of the prison service in collaboration
with the UN mission.392 In Somalia,
the UN Mission has worked since
2016 to assist with reintegrating
convicted high-risk prisoners through
disengagement programmes.393
(See Violent extremism in prisons,
page 28).

RECOMMENDATION 22
International assistance,
including through UN
peacekeeping missions, should
give enhanced priority to the
building of human rightsbased criminal justice systems.
Priority should also be given
to reducing prison populations
through effective reforms
of legislation and judicial
processes. (SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

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PRISON MANAGEMENT

Corruption
in prison
Corruption394 within prison systems
has a whole range of negative
consequences, not least on the human
rights of prisoners and on effective
prison management. It can prevent
prisoners from accessing basic
services and divert public funds from
their intended purpose, and poses a
severe security risk to prisoners, prison
staff and prison management alike.
Corruption in prisons takes many
forms. Families may be required to
pay bribes to prison staff merely for
their relative to receive basic provisions
such as food or access to showers.
A recent survey of 64,000 prisoners
by Mexico’s statistics agency found
that as many as 87 per cent had paid
bribes to guards for food, for making
phone calls, or for getting a blanket
or mattress.395 Furthermore, a 2017
study in Armenia found that bribes
were paid to prison officers by relatives
of prisoners to ensure extra showers,
time outdoors for recreation, and less
thorough searches. The study found
that such payments had increased
significantly over the past few years.396
There are also cases of staff covering
up violations by their colleagues and
shielding them from investigation and
prosecution, and reports of prison staff
participating in the trafficking of drugs
and mobile phones, embezzlement,
theft and assisting escapes. For
instance, in Western Australia, the
Corruption and Crime Commission
found that prison staff were colluding
to smuggle drugs into prisons.397

Independent monitoring
of prisons
The independent monitoring of
prisons was given a significant
boost when Sri Lanka and Australia
ratified the UN Optional Protocol
to the Convention against Torture
(OPCAT) in December 2017, bringing
the number of ratifications to a total
of 87 countries by the end of 2017.404
This opens up places of detention
to visits from the UN Subcommittee
on Prevention of Torture (SPT) and
establishes National Preventive
Mechanisms (NPMs) – torture

32 |	

Corruption perpetrated by prison
staff tends to be common where
they are poorly paid and looking for
supplemental income, and it flourishes
where there are inadequate oversight
and accountability mechanisms.398
Poor conditions of detention,
particularly in overcrowded facilities,
make it more likely that corrupt prison
officers can extort payment from
prisoners for basic services. The UN
Subcommittee on the Prevention of
Torture reported on this issue and
recognised a correlation between
corruption and torture, stating:
‘corruption breeds ill-treatment, and
disregard for human rights contributes
to the prevalence of corruption’.399
In 2017, the UN Office on Drugs and
Crime produced a Handbook on
Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons
which highlighted ‘[t]he inexorable link
between sound prison management
and the prevention of corruption’.400
It sets out a range of anti-corruption
measures which include clearly
acknowledging the issue, conducting
a corruption risk assessment, and
developing a mitigation plan. Measures
should include improving the integrity
of staff (training, codes of conduct,
etc.), strengthening accountability
(detection, investigation and sanctions)
and building transparency and
oversight (independent monitoring,
awareness and consultation).

are plans to use metal detectors,
CCTV and telephone jamming
equipment to prevent contraband
entering prisons, as well as for staff to
be subject to polygraphs (lie detector
tests).401 In Kazakhstan, the prison
service has adopted a multi-pronged
strategy to address corruption, which
includes improvements to the system
for electronic documentation and
establishing a telephone ‘hotline’
for people to report corruption in
prisons.402 A similar ‘hotline’ initiative
has been set up in the Indian state of
Hyderabad, which also offers financial
rewards for information.403

RECOMMENDATION 23
States should prioritise
efforts to prevent and combat
corruption in prisons, starting
with recognising the problem,
adopting a zero-tolerance
policy and undertaking a full
corruption risk assessment.
Prison staff should be carefully
selected and their remuneration
and working conditions should
be adequate. (SDG 16)

A range of strategies has been
adopted to prevent corrupt practices
in prisons at the national level,
although it is still rife. In Jamaica, there

prevention monitoring bodies
mandated to conduct regular visits
to all types of places where persons
are deprived of liberty. Furthermore,
the Nelson Mandela Rules provide
for a twofold system for regular
inspections: an internal inspection
by prison administrations, and
external inspections conducted by
a body independent of the prison
administration.405
As of February 2018, 66 countries
had designated NPMs406 and several
countries moved towards the full
functioning of their NPMs. Argentina
confirmed designation of the last

six members of its future NPM in
December 2017, after a lengthy
process;407 Chile signed a bill to
establish an NPM;408 and Panama
approved legislation creating their
NPM.409 However, progress on setting
up an NPM remained stalled in the
Philippines410 and in Brazil, where only
two out of 27 states have established
their own local mechanism required
by federal law.411 Resources remain
a barrier in detention monitoring
work; in 2017, the SPT noted that
a fund it uses to strengthen NPMs
was significantly low, stressing how
critical it was that the fund remain
operational and well-resourced.412

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

ROLE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGIES

PART FIVE

Role and use
of technologies

In recent years, criminal justice and
prison systems around the world have
expanded their use of different kinds of
technology to enhance community and
prison-based surveillance of alleged
and convicted offenders. Technology
is also used increasingly for different
aspects of prison management,
such as facilitating access to online
education and contact with family
and friends.
Concerns continued to be raised
about the growing use of technology,
including the risk of privacy breaches
and the unreliability of the technology
itself. There are also concerns about
whether enabling prisoners to have
remote contact with family, friends or
heath providers via screens – often
on the grounds of cost-savings
– will replace human contact, a
crucial aspect of rehabilitation and
reintegration. (See Contact with the
outside world, page 27).

and Thailand. In August 2017,
Romania announced that EM was
being looked at to resolve prison
overcrowding.415 Latvia adopted EM
for prisoners on parole in 2015 and is
planning to use EM as an alternative
sentence to imprisonment.416
There are concerns that EM use is
being expanded, despite a lack of
sufficient evaluation. A study in the US
found that its use had increased nearly
140 per cent between 2006 and 2016,
and gave a warning that this has
occurred ‘largely in the absence of
data demonstrating their effectiveness
for various types of offenders’.417 In the
UK, academics concluded that ‘the
evidence base does not match the
ambitions for electronic monitoring’.418

Prisons in the US, for example, are
increasingly turning to ‘telemedicine’
to provide mental healthcare and
treatment.413 In a context of increasing
staff shortages, this can make mental
health support more accessible
but has also been criticised by
practitioners for inhibiting the quality of
care, not least because the technology
itself is not sufficiently reliable.414

Technology was also increasingly
used for surveillance inside prisons.
South Korea began a six-month trial in
three prisons using unmanned drones
to patrol inside and outside of the
prisons, in order to monitor prisoners’
movements and to trace fugitives.419
Drones have also been used to drop
contraband inside prisons and, in a
world first, the UK is trialling the use of
a device that can detect and deflect
the packages that are dropped,420
as well as technology that can block
signals from mobile phones being used
in prisons.421

The use of electronic monitoring (EM)
continued to increase, not just in
Europe and North America but in other
countries such as Kenya, Kazakhstan,
South Africa, the Maldives, El Salvador

In high-income countries, there
has been a rise in access to online
education and training for prisoners.
In Australia, prisoners have been given
notebook computers that allow them

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

to conduct self-paced learning,422 and
in New Zealand, all prisons now have
secure computer suites that allow
access to online learning tools for
education, life skills, employment and
reintegration-focused training.423 In
Colorado, people who were convicted
when they were children and who
have served at least 20 years of their
sentence are being prepared for
release using virtual reality, in order
to practise skills they have never
learned, such as doing the laundry
and food shopping.424
Online access is also being used
to allow prisoners to take control
of different aspects of their lives
directly from their cells. Belgium has
invested in a comprehensive digital
service called ‘Prison Cloud’, which
is installed in prison cells and allows
prisoners to access television, film and
education provisions, to call family and
friends, and to book family visits.425
The Singapore Prison Service began
a trial for prisoners to share tablets
in their cells that are connected to a
secure internal network, in order to
communicate with family, participate
in online courses and read news
and books.426
One study 427 found that prisons with
such ‘self-service’ technology had
positive results. There was a reduction
in prison disciplinary offences, and
reoffending in the first year after
release was reduced by 5.36 per cent,
compared to a 0.78 per cent reduction
in comparative prisons.

| 33

ROLE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGIES

There is concern that
remote contact with family
or friends via screens will
replace human contact

© Mikael
© Thailand
Karlsson
Institute
/ Alamy
of Justice,
Stock Photo.
2016

34 |	

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

ROLE AND USE OF TECHNOLOGIES

The prisoner survey and usage data
suggested that prisoners felt more
in control of their lives and more
confident in coping with technology
in the outside world. Combating
prisoners’ digital exclusion is
important, but concerns expressed
included the fact that placing
computers in cells can transform the
dynamic of prisons, leading to more
isolation and fewer opportunities to
build constructive relationships with
prison staff.428
The criminal justice process has also
been affected by the introduction
of new technologies. In Malawi, an
NGO introduced an application for
smartphones and tablets called ‘Open
Trial’ that has information about fair trial
and detention rights, a checklist that
people can use to determine whether
their friends, family members or

detainees have been detained legally,
and a reporting function to notify the
NGO of violations or concerns.429
In China, a court in Shanghai has
developed an online platform allowing
judges to review information sent
directly from prisons when dealing with
parole or commuting of sentences,
thereby reducing the need to visit jails
in person.430

Although such video links may
increase court efficiency, critics have
urged caution and studies have found
that communication with courts or
lawyers via video links can reduce
understanding and participation, which
is worsened by inadequate audio and
visual quality.432

Although it is common practice for
child and vulnerable witnesses to give
evidence in court over video link in
certain countries, the use of video links
has expanded to include defendants
‘attending’ court from police stations
and prisons, and for confidential
consultations with lawyers. A women’s
prison in Chiang Mai in Thailand, for
example, uses video-conferencing for
court appearances which, it claims,
has saved time and resources.431

States should leverage
technology to improve
prisoners’ opportunities for
education, skill‑building and
communication, and to promote
the efficiency of criminal
justice systems. However, such
initiatives should not reduce or
replace face-to-face interaction
for prisoners. (SDGs 4, 10 and 16)

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

RECOMMENDATION 24

| 35

ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT

PART SIX

Alternatives
to imprisonment

Overall, the use of non-custodial
measures and sanctions has
expanded in recent years, particularly
for low-level offending. This expansion
has been driven by the recognition
of the importance of alternatives to
prison in reducing overcrowding and
their effectiveness in rehabilitating
offenders, particularly those who are
convicted of non-violent and low-level
drug-related offences.
A number of countries with prison
overcrowding sought to decongest
prisons by introducing or expanding

New approach to
probation and community
service for women
Between 2015–17, Penal Reform
International, together with the
Kenya Probation and Aftercare
Service, developed a new approach
to probation and community service
for women, in a project funded by
the Thailand Institute of Justice.
This project recognised the negative
consequences of imprisonment
experienced by women and their
families, and the need to improve
and expand the use of community
sanctions. The different needs
of women serving non-custodial
alternatives have largely been
overlooked until now.
Within the project, the specificities
faced by women in serving probation
and community service were
assessed through research. Based
on the UN Bangkok Rules on women
offenders, tools used by probation
officers were adapted and tested,

36 |	

non-custodial options. For example,
in Cambodia – where 25,000 prisoners
are in facilities designed to hold
8,500, and there were almost 18,000
arrests of suspected drug traffickers
and drug users in 2017 433 – the
Justice Ministry announced a pilot
programme of community service.434
This is an example of a trend to move
towards alternative sanctions for
drug-related offending, in line with
commitments made at the 2016 UN

with probation officers adopting a
more gender-sensitive approach.440
While the project was implemented
in Kenya, a model was developed so
that the approach can be replicated
in other countries.
A set of resources to assist
stakeholders in adapting their policy
and practice with women serving
community sanctions include:
• A model for reform that lays
out 10 key steps to take in order
to introduce a gender-sensitive
approach to community service and
probation
• Lessons and recommendations
based on the study in Kenya on
experiences of women offenders
and other stakeholders, and other
international research
In addition, a short documentary
film, a training module for probation
officers, and guidelines for social
investigations and pre-sentence
reports were produced, to facilitate
sustainable change to Kenya’s
treatment of women offenders.441

General Assembly Special Session
on the world drug problem. (See Drugs
and imprisonment, page 14).
In Rwanda, community service was
previously only available to people
convicted for crimes relating to
the genocide; however, in 2017
the Government extended its use
for offenders convicted of petty
offences.435 In Morocco, where the
prison population is growing, a new
Code of Criminal Procedure under
consideration will include alternatives
to prison at both pre-trial and
post-conviction stages.436 In Ireland,
there was a drop of almost 40 per cent
in the numbers of people being sent
to prison in 2017, which was nearly
entirely caused by the introduction
of non-custodial sanctions for
non-payment of court-ordered fines.437
While there is no reliable data on the
use of community sanctions at a global
level, evidence shows that there is
not necessarily a correlation between
reducing prison population rates and
increasing community sanctions. This
is seen in European countries and the
US, where there is a trend towards
‘mass supervision’ of offenders.
For instance, in the US there are
nearly five million people under a
criminal justice supervision (parole
or probation), a fourfold increase since
1980.438 A study explains: ‘Probation
and parole populations mushroomed
alongside prison and jail populations,
signalling that, with some exceptions,
community corrections was serving as
an add-on, rather than alternative to,
incarceration’.439

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT

A number of countries
with prison overcrowding
sought to decongest
prisons by introducing or
expanding non-custodial
options

© Will Boase, 2015

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

| 37

ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT

In Europe, the number of people
under some form of supervision has
also grown significantly in almost
all jurisdictions in recent years.
Research found that of 29 European
countries, 17 have more people under
supervision than in prison, and that the
increase has not led to a reduction in
prison populations.442
Furthermore, in some countries,
offenders are sent to prison for breach
of the terms of their non-custodial
sanction, rather than for reoffending.443
The importance of non-custodial
sanctions in promoting rehabilitation
and reform was evidenced in a study
from Australia, which found that
there was a reduction of between
11 and 31 per cent in the odds of
reoffending for an offender who had
been given a non-custodial sanction,
compared to an offender who received
a sentence of up to two years.444 In
Northern Ireland, a pilot programme
which combined community service,
restorative justice and supervision also
had positive results. There was a 40
per cent reduction in the reoffending
rate for those who completed the
order, leading to the pilot being
considered for expansion.445
Recently there has been consideration
of how alternatives could be more
effective and appropriate for women,
in line with the UN Bangkok Rules.
For example, in Kenya a PRI project
involved adapting tools used by
the country’s probation service to
improve investigations into genderrelevant aspects of women offenders.
(See ‘New approach to probation
and community service for women’,
page 36).

38 |	

At the international level, the Third
World Congress on Probation was
held in Japan in September 2017. It
represented a positive sign of widening
recognition of the value of probation
and the necessity to cooperate and
share experience. Furthermore, a
UN resolution called for greater use
of alternatives to imprisonment,446
acknowledging the links between
non-custodial sanctions and a
reduction in prison overcrowding,
and the contribution they make to
building safer communities in support
of efforts towards the Sustainable
Development Goals. Notably, member
states reaffirmed the importance of
proportionate sentences, in which
the severity of penalties for offenders
is proportionate to the gravity of
the offences, and mitigating and
aggravating circumstances are taken
into account.447
The use of restorative justice is a
growing trend, whether as part of
sentencing or initiated at other points
of criminal justice proceedings.
Restorative justice programmes
include mediation, conciliation,
conferencing and sentencing circles,
and are defined as any process in
which the victim, offender and other
relevant individuals or community
members affected by a crime
participate together actively in the
resolution of matters arising from
the crime, generally with the help of
a facilitator.448 Potential outcomes
include protection of the victims’
rights and interests, unburdening the
criminal justice system, lower rates
of recidivism, and better reintegration
of offenders.

A 2017 survey by the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime in 31 countries
found that victim-offender mediation
was the most commonly used type
of restorative justice, and more
than half of the countries surveyed
used restorative justice in cases
involving children in conflict with the
law.449 However, it concluded that
restorative justice is ‘under-used
or not well-known in many parts of
the world’.
The Academy of Criminal Justice
Science has pointed out increasing
interest in understanding how
restorative justice processes might be
used to respond to sexual harms and
domestic violence. It has also noted
that ‘there continues to be barriers
to the uptake of restorative justice
which are related to net-widening
effects, concerns about due process,
lack of clarity about the identity of
restorative justice, lack of appropriate
messaging to those interested in
retribution especially with respect
to accountability expectations in
restorative justice’.450

RECOMMENDATION 25
States should develop and
implement alternatives to
imprisonment, including
restorative justice processes. A
focus should be on addressing
root causes of crime, including
poverty and inequality, to
support efforts to achieving
the Sustainable Development
Goals. Non-custodial sanctions
should replace the use of prison,
rather than widening the net
of criminal justice control.
(SDGs 1, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 16)

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

25 KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

25 Key
recommendations

01

05

02

06

States should introduce
a range of law and
policy changes to
reduce rates of imprisonment, such
as crime prevention measures,
the expansion of alternative
measures, and a renewed focus
on rehabilitation in both prisons
and community settings.
Strategies to address
prison overcrowding
should focus on crime
prevention, expanding the use of
alternatives to imprisonment and social
interventions that promote sustainable
development and reduce poverty and
inequality. (SDGs 1, 10 and 16)

03

States should
respect, protect and
fulfil the full range
of human rights and procedural
safeguards guaranteed for people
arrested. To prevent torture or illtreatment of suspects, investigative
interviewing that is non-coercive
should be adopted. (SDG 16)

04

Pre-trial detention should
only be used as a means
of last resort, and
decisions to detain should be based
on the presumption of innocence
and the principles of necessity and
proportionality. Monetary bail policies
should be reviewed to ensure they
do not discriminate against poor
people. (SDGs 1, 10 and 16)

Sentencing practice
should be guided
by international law,
including the UN Tokyo and Bangkok
Rules, and should be based on
the principle of proportionality.
Plea bargaining systems should be
fully regulated to ensure access to
justice is preserved and rights of
suspects are upheld. (SDG 16)
States should reduce the
use of life imprisonment,
taking account of the
principle of proportionality and the
negative impact of such sentences.
Life sentences without any possibility
of parole should be abolished.
Conditions for life-sentenced prisoners
should adhere to the minimum
standards set out in the Nelson
Mandela Rules. (SDGs 8, 10 and 16)

07

States that retain the
death penalty should
move towards abolition
and establish a moratorium as a first
step. States that have abolished the
death penalty should support the
abolition movement politically and
financially. Conditions for prisoners
on death row must meet minimum
standards. (SDGs 3, 10 and 16)

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

08

States should review
their drug policies
in order to adopt
evidence-based policies that include
decriminalisation of minor offences,
proportionality of sentencing,
and non-custodial alternatives to
imprisonment. Treatment as an
alternative to imprisonment must be
voluntary and human-rights compliant.
Metrics to measure the outcomes
of drug policies should include their
impact on human rights, health and
development. (SDGs 3, 5 and 16)

09

The UN Bangkok Rules
should guide states in
criminal justice reform
to ensure systems meet the needs of
women. Sentencing of women should
take account of any victimisation,
caretaking responsibilities and
context of the criminal conduct,
giving preference to non-custodial
sanctions. (SDG 1, 5, 10 and 16)

10

Detention of children
should be used as a
very last resort, and the
death penalty and life imprisonment
should be prohibited for children.
States should adopt child-friendly
justice systems and protect children
from violence and ill-treatment.

(SDGs 3, 4, 5, 10 and 16)

| 39

25 KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

11

States should assess the
needs of elderly prisoners,
including for rehabilitation,
reintegration and healthcare, to
inform prison regimes. Early release
mechanisms should be adopted for
elderly prisoners. (SDGs 10 and 16)

12

States should take
measures to protect
LGBTI people in
detention, in line with the Yogyakarta
Principles. Protection from violence
and stigmatisation should be ensured,
without restricting rights, and adequate
healthcare must be provided, including
hormone therapy and gender
reassignment. (SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

13

States should collect data
on the number of people
in prison with disabilities,
and review their needs in order to
inform policy and practice, in line with
international standards. This should
include training of staff and policies
to protect discriminatory treatment
and abuse, as well as architectural
measures. (SDGs 10 and 16)

14

States should ensure
the safety of prisoners,
including through dynamic
security and safeguards to uphold the
absolute prohibition of torture. There
should be adequate staff-prisoner
ratios to guarantee the exercise of
effective control of prison facilities.

(SDGs 10 and 16)

15

States should protect
prison staff from
discrimination and
violence, including gender-based
violence. Remuneration and
working conditions should reflect
the challenging nature of prison
work and encourage recruitment
of female correctional staff.

(SDGs 5, 8 and 16)

16

Drug prevention and
treatment and HIV
prevention, treatment
and care should be available to
people in prison at the same level
as that provided in the community.
Efforts to recruit sufficient healthcare
staff in prisons should be doubled.

17

States should develop
criminal justice and
prison policies with full
consideration of their relevance
and importance for achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals of the
2030 Agenda, so that ‘no one is left
behind’ and criminal justice systems
play their part to contribute to a just,
equitable, tolerant, open and socially
inclusive world, in which the needs of
the most vulnerable are met.

18

In line with the Nelson
Mandela Rules and the
Bangkok Rules, states
should prohibit both indefinite and
prolonged solitary confinement, as well
as for certain groups, as stipulated in
international standards. It should only
be used as a last resort in exceptional
cases, and then should only be applied
for the shortest time possible and be
subject to regular, independent review.

(SDG 16)

19

States should facilitate
contact between prisoners
and their family and
friends through regular, affordable
and easy access to mail, telephones
and other communications, as well as
through visits in a clean, respectful and
safe environment.

20

States should develop
and implement
individualised
rehabilitation and reintegration
programmes that address root
causes of offending and key
barriers. Any skills and vocational
training should take account of
the employment market to boost
chances of employment post-release.
Programmes for women should
not reinforce gender stereotypes.

(SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 16)
(See Special Focus section)

21

Implementation of the
Nelson Mandela Rules
should be prioritised in
any strategy to prevent radicalisation
and violent extremism in prison. States
should adopt individual risk and needs
assessments that are grounded in
human rights. Further research should
be done on women-specific aspects
of radicalisation and violent extremism.

(SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

22

International assistance,
including through UN
peacekeeping missions,
should give enhanced priority to
the building of human rights-based
criminal justice systems. Priority should
also be given to reducing prison
populations through effective reforms
of legislation and judicial processes.

(SDGs 5, 10 and 16)

23

States should prioritise
efforts to prevent and
combat corruption in
prisons, starting with recognising the
problem, adopting a zero-tolerance
policy and undertaking a full corruption
risk assessment. Prison staff should
be carefully selected and their
remuneration and working conditions
should be adequate. (SDG 16)

24

States should leverage
technology to improve
prisoners’ opportunities
for education, skill‑building and
communication, and to promote the
efficiency of criminal justice systems.
However, such initiatives should
not reduce or replace face-to-face
interaction for prisoners. (SDGs 4,

10 and 16)

25

States should develop
and implement
alternatives to
imprisonment, including restorative
justice processes. A focus should be
on addressing root causes of crime,
including poverty and inequality,
to support efforts to achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals.
Non-custodial sanctions should
replace the use of prison, rather than
widening the net of criminal justice
control. (SDGs 1, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 16)

(SDGs 3 and 10)

40 |	

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

ENDNOTES

Endnotes

All website links cited were accurate at the
time of going to press in April 2018.

PART 1
Crime and imprisonment
1	 International Centre for the Prevention of
Crime, Trends in Crime and its Prevention,
2016, Chapter 1.
2	 For example, see Europol, 2017 Internet
Organised Crime Threat Assessment
(IOCTA), 2017, www.europol.europa.eu/
iocta/2017/index.html.
3	 UN Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice, Twenty-seventh session,
14–18 May 2018, Note by the Secretariat on
world crime trends and emerging issues and
responses in the field of crime prevention
and criminal justice, 2018, E/CN.15/2018/10.
4	Ibid.
5	Ibid.
6	 Roy Walmsley, Institute for Criminal Policy
Research, World Prison Population, 11th
edition, 2016.
7	 Roy Walmsley, Institute for Criminal Policy
Research, World Female Imprisonment List,
4th edition, 2017.
8	 Roy Walmsley, Institute for Criminal Policy
Research, World Prison Population,
11th edition, 2016.
9	Ibid.
10	Ibid.
11	 Frieder Dünkel, ‘The Rise and Fall of
Prison Population Rates in Europe’,
Criminology in Europe, 2016,
www.esc-eurocrim.org/images/esc/
newsletters/ESC_15_2_2016.pdf.
12	 ‘How do European Court judgments
influence detention conditions in
Russia?’, EIN Voices, 12 December 2017,
www.einnetwork.org/ein-voices/2017/12/12/
how-do-european-court-judgmentsinfluence-detention-conditions-in-russia.
13	 Frieder Dünkel, ‘The Rise and Fall of
Prison Population Rates in Europe’,
Criminology in Europe, 2016,
www.esc-eurocrim.org/images/esc/
newsletters/ESC_15_2_2016.pdf.
14	 ‘Dutch get creative to solve a prison
problem: Too many empty cells’, The New
York Times, 9 February 2017, www.nytimes.
com/2017/02/09/world/europe/netherlandsprisons-shortage.html.
15	 Roy Walmsley, Institute for Criminal Policy
Research, World Female Imprisonment List,
4th edition, 2017.
16	Ibid.

17	 David Roodman, The impacts of
incarceration on crime, Open Philanthropy
Project, September 2017.
18	 Institute for Criminal Policy Research, World
Prison Brief Database, www.prisonstudies.
org/highest-to-lowest/prison-populationtotal?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All.
19	 Heather McGill, ‘Prisoner transportation
in Russia: travelling into the unknown’,
PRI Blog, 28 November 2017,
www.penalreform.org/blog/prisonertransportation-in-russia-travelling-into-theunknown/.
20	 ‘Mexico’s prison population has dropped,
but it’s a sign of a deeper criminal justice
problem’, Business Insider, 22 December
2017, uk.businessinsider.com/r-mexicoprison-population-drops-as-policeprosecutors-bungle-cases-2017-12.
21	 Report of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights,
Non-discrimination and the protection of
persons with increased vulnerability in the
administration of justice, in particular in
situations of deprivation of liberties and
with regard to the causes and effects
of overincarceration and overcrowding,
21 August 2017, A/HRC/36/28.
22	 For example, see United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Human
rights implications of overincarceration and
overcrowding, 2015, A/HRC/30/19, para. 50.
23	 Seena Fazel et al, ‘Suicide in prisons:
an international study of prevalence and
contributory factors’, The Lancet Psychiatry,
Volume 4, Issue 12, 2017, pp946–952.
24	 UN General Assembly, United Nations
Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial
Measures (The Tokyo Rules), 2 April 1991.
25	 ‘Macedonia backs amnesty to deal with
overcrowded prisons’, Business Insider UK,
15 January 2018, uk.businessinsider.com/
ap-macedonia-backs-amnesty-to-dealwith-overcrowded-prisons-2018-1; Human
Rights Watch, World Report 2018, January
2018, p236 (Gambia); ‘Kuwait moves to
address prison overcrowding’, Gulf News,
23 January 2018, gulfnews.com/news/gulf/
kuwait/kuwait-moves-to-address-prisonovercrowding-1.2161700.
26	 ‘President directs release of petty
offenders’, Daily Nation, 15 February
2017, www.nation.co.ke/news/presidentdirects-release-of-petty-offenders/10563814626-54f6g6z/; ‘Nigeria: National
Stakeholders’ Committee and Task of Prison
Decongestion’, All Africa, 23 January 2018,
allafrica.com/stories/201801230654.html.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

27	 ‘Czech prisons filled up to overcapacity
after respite’, Radio Praha, 2 January
2018, www.radio.cz/en/section/
curraffrs/czech-prisons-filled-up-toovercapacity-after-respite.
28	 ‘Burundi frees prisoners, but rights
group cautious’, News 24, 23 January
2017, www.news24.com/Africa/News/
burundi-frees-prisoners-but-rights-groupscautious-20170123.
29	 ‘Turkey’s justice ministry admits the severity
of prison overcrowding’, Birgun.net, 20 May
2017, www.birgun.net/haber-detay/turkeys-justice-ministry-admits-the-severity-ofprison-overcrowding-160483.html.
30	 ‘Turkey boosting prison capacity to be able
to jail 345,000 people in 5 years’, Turkey
Purge, 11 December 2017, turkeypurge.com/
turkey-boosting-prison-capacity-able-jail345000-people-5-years.
31	 ‘New prison planned to help ease the
shortfall of prison places in Slovakia’,
The Slovak Spectator, 11 January 2018,
spectator.sme.sk/c/20735840/new-prisonplanned-to-help-ease-the-shortfall-of-prisonplaces-in-slovakia.html.
32	 ‘Nigerian govt to construct 6 ultra-modern
prisons nationwide’, PM News Nigeria,
16 February 2018, www.pmnewsnigeria.
com/2018/02/16/nigerian-govt-construct-6ultra-modern-prisons-nationwide/.
33	 Joëlle Bergeron, European Parliament
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and
Home Affairs, Report on prison systems and
conditions, 6 July 2017 (2015/2062(INI)),
A8-0251/2017.
34	 European Court of Human Rights, Mocanu
and Others v. Romania, application nos.
10865/09, 45886/07 and 32431/08,
17 September 2014.

| 41

ENDNOTES

PART 2
Trends in the use of imprisonment
35	 UN International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights.
36	 Amnesty International, Justice Under Trial:
A Study Of Pre-Trial Detention In India,
July 2017, p15.
37	 ‘ASILEGAL presenta informe sobre
indígenas privados de libertad en Chiapas
y Oaxaca’, ASILEGAL, 7 November 2017,
asilegal.org.mx/index.php/es/noticias/658indigenassinjusticia-asilegal-presentainforme-sobre-indigenas-privados-delibertad-en-chiapas-y-oaxaca.
38	 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p89.
39	 Keiji Soshoh
ˉ oˉ (C. Crim. Pro.) Law No. 131
of 1948, revised in 2017, Art. 301–2, Art. 1
of Additional Clause.
40	 Judicial Department, Legal Aid Commission,
Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination
Commission and Director of Public
Prosecutions, ‘Pilot of the first hour
procedure and video recorded interviews’,
Joint press release, 2 May 2017,
odpp.com.fj/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/
Joint-Agency-Press-Release-on-PilotProject_-May-2017.pdf.
41	 ‘Committee against Torture reviews report of
Paraguay’, Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, 27 July 2017,
www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/
DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21920&LangID=E.
42	 ‘Torture during interrogations not just wrong
but also counterproductive – UN rights chief’,
UN News, 22 September 2017, www.un.org/
apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57672#.
WnHZgWdLHIV; ‘Set universal standards
for interviewing detainees without coercion,
UN anti-torture expert urges States’, Office
of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, 18 October 2016, www.ohchr.org/
EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=20722&LangID=E.
43	 For example, see ‘Torture is never
the solution – a protocol for humane
interrogations’, Association for the
Prevention of Torture, 27 January 2017,
www.apt.ch/en/news_on_prevention/tortureis-never-the-solution-a-protocol-for-humaneinterrogations/.
44	 Convention against Torture Initiative,
Investigative Interviewing for Criminal Cases:
Training Tool, 2017.
45	 ‘Torture during interrogations not just wrong
but also counterproductive – UN rights chief’,
UN News, 22 September 2017, www.un.org/
apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57672#.
WnHZgWdLHIV.
46	 College of Policing Authorised Professional
Practice, Investigative interviewing – PEACE
Framework, www.app.college.police.uk/
app-content/investigations/investigativeinterviewing/#peace-framework.
47	 Asbjørn Rachlew, ‘From interrogating
to interviewing suspects of terror:
Towards a new mindset’, PRI Blog, 14
March 2017, www.penalreform.org/blog/
interrogating-interviewing-suspects-terrortowards-new-mindset.
48	 UN Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice, Twenty-seventh session,
14–18 May 2018, Note by the Secretariat on
world crime trends and emerging issues and
responses in the field of crime prevention
and criminal justice, 2018, E/CN.15/2018/10.
49	 Indicator 16.3.2 of the Sustainable
Development Goals.
50	 ‘Poor legal representation and prison
decongestion’, The Guardian, 13 February
2018, guardian.ng/features/poor-legalrepresentation-and-prison-decongestion/.

42 |	

51	 Amnesty International, Justice Under Trial:
A Study Of Pre-Trial Detention In India,
July 2017, pp12, 15.
52	 American Civil Liberties Union, As Much
Justice As You Can Afford – Hawaii’s
Accused Face an Unequal Bail System,
January 2018. Also see Human Rights
Watch, Not in it for Justice: How California’s
Pretrial Detention and Bail System Unfairly
Punishes Poor People, 2017.
53	 ‘Bail reform wins final passage in
Senate’, The CT Mirror, 7 June 2017,
ctmirror.org/2017/06/07/bail-reform-winsfinal-passage-in-senate/; ‘50 Alabama
cities reform bail practices for poor’,
Criminal Legal News, 19 January 2018,
www.criminallegalnews.org/news/2018/
jan/19/50-alabama-cities-reform-bailpractices-poor/; ‘New York City to end cash
bail for non-felony cases in win for reform
advocates’, The Guardian, 10 January 2018,
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/10/
new-york-city-to-end-cash-bail-for-nonfelony-cases-in-win-for-reform-advocates.
54	 ‘Thailand weighs program to
ease bail process for the poor’,
Benar News, 8 December 2017,
www.benarnews.org/english/news/thai/bailchange-12082017114658.html.
55	 ‘Liberia: Special judiciary task force
to review cases of pre-trial detainees’,
AllAfrica, 16 October 2017, allafrica.com/
stories/201710170326.html.
56	 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p79.
57	 ‘Colombia shortens court procedure
to speed up collapsing justice system’,
Colombia Reports, 10 July 2017,
colombiareports.com/colombia-reducescriminal-proceedings-speed-collapsingjustice-system/.
58	 ‘Aya Hegazy case spotlights Egypt’s pretrial
detention law’, Al-Monitor, 21 April 2017.
59	 ‘Study: Courts handing down fewer jail
terms’, Uutiset, 8 January 2018, yle.fi/uutiset/
osasto/news/study_courts_handing_down_
fewer_jail_terms/10011464.
60	 ‘Chris Marshall: This is how long convicted
murderers spend in prison’, The Scotsman,
8 November 2017, www.scotsman.com/
news/politics/chris-marshall-this-is-howlong-convicted-murderers-spend-inprison-1-4607421.
61	 Jacqueline Beard, Review of unduly lenient
sentences, House of Commons Briefing
Paper Number 00512, 29 November 2017.
62	 ‘Vast majority of sentences still have
no sentencing guidelines’, Irish Times,
10 January 2018, www.irishtimes.com/
news/crime-and-law/vast-majorityof-offences-still-have-no-sentencingguidelines-1.3350342.
63	 ‘NZ: three strikes law “silly”’, New
Zealand Herald, 1 November 2017,
www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_
id=1&objectid=11939273.
64	 ‘New bill proposes open jail’, My Republica,
19 January 2017, www.myrepublica.com/
news/13331/.
65	 US Sentencing Commission, Federal
Alternative-to-Incarceration Court Programs,
September 2017.
66	 Fair Trials, The Disappearing Trial: Towards
a rights-based approach to trial waiver
systems, 2017, www.fairtrials.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/12/Report-TheDisappearing-Trial.pdf.
67	 Figures cited in: Fair Trials, The Disappearing
Trial: Towards a rights-based approach to
trial waiver systems, 2017.
68	 ‘149 jails in India overcrowded by over
200%: Govt’, Hindustan Times, 8 August
2017, www.hindustantimes.com/indianews/149-jails-in-india-overcrowdedby-over-200-government/story3MV1QjULTHwuLZuP4sfRpL.html.

69	 Fair Trials, The Disappearing Trial: Towards
a rights-based approach to trial waiver
systems, 2017.
70	 Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton,
Life Imprisonment: A Global Human
Rights Analysis, Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press (forthcoming 2018). The
authors estimate that in 2014 there were
approximately 479,000 life-sentenced
prisoners.
71	Ibid.
72	 Ashley Nellis, Still Life: America’s Increasing
Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, The
Sentencing Project, 2017, p20.
73	 Ben Crewe, Susie Hulley and Serena Wright,
‘The Gendered Pains of Life Imprisonment’,
British Journal of Criminology, Volume 57,
Issue 6, 1 November 2017, pp1359–1378,
1376.
74	 Child Rights International Network, Inhuman
Sentencing: Life imprisonment of children
around the world, March 2015, p7.
75	 Human Rights Council, Human rights in the
administration of justice, including juvenile
justice, 16 September 2015, A/HRC/30/L.16,
para. 24.
76	 Josh Rovner, Juvenile Life Without Parole:
An Overview, The Sentencing Project, 13
October 2017.
77	 For example, see ‘Few Florida Juvenile
Lifers Resentenced Despite US Mandate’,
US News, 31 July 2017, www.usnews.com/
news/best-states/florida/articles/2017-07-31/
few-florida-juvenile-lifers-resentenceddespite-us-mandate.
78	 The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of
Youth, States that ban life without parole
for children, www.fairsentencingofyouth.
org/media-resources/states-that-ban-life/;
Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, pp591–609 (USA).
79	 ‘Justice at Last for the Youngest Inmates?’
New York Times, 20 November 2017,
www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/opinion/lifesentence-youth-parole.html.
80	 For example, see European Committee for
the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 25th
General Report of the CPT, April 2016, CPT/
Inf (2016) 10, para. 71.
81	 ‘Prison conditions of inmates sentences
to life’, AKIPress, 19 December 2017,
akipress.com/news:600075/.
82	 Ashley Nellis, Still Life: America’s Increasing
Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences,
The Sentencing Project, 2017, p6.
83	 Francis Karioko Muruatetu & Wilson Thirimbu
Mwangi v Republic [Writ Petition No.15
of 2015].
84	 ‘Long sentences unconstitutional –
Supreme Court’, New Era, 7 February 2018,
www.newera.com.na/2018/02/07/longsentences-unconstitutional-supreme-court/.
85	 European Court of Human Rights, Matiošaitis
and Others v. Lithuania, Application nos.
22662/13, 51059/13, 58823/13 et al,
23 May 2017.
86	 All figures from: Amnesty International,
Death sentences and executions in 2016,
April 2017.
87	Ibid.
88	 Amnesty International, Abolitionist and
retentionist countries (as of March 2018),
5 March 2018.
89	 Amnesty International, Mongolia: death
penalty confined to history as new Criminal
Code comes into effect, 1 July 2017;
‘Guatemala abolishes the death penalty
for ordinary crimes’, World Coalition
against the Death Penalty, 31 October
2017, www.worldcoalition.org/Guatemala_
abolishes_the_death_penalty_for_ordinary_
crimes.html.

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ENDNOTES

90	 ‘Gambia announces moratorium on death
penalty’, Reuters, 18 February 2018,
www.reuters.com/article/us-gambia-justice/
gambia-announces-moratorium-on-deathpenalty-idUSKCN1G20V2.
91	 Gen Sander, Harm Reduction International,
The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global
Overview 2017, March 2018, pp6–7.
92	 ‘Kenyan Supreme Court declares Mandatory
Death Penalty Unconstitutional’, Death
Penalty Project, 14 December 2017,
www.deathpenaltyproject.org/news/2903/
kenyan-supreme-court-declares-mandatorydeath-penalty-unconstitutional/.
93	 ‘Thailand moves towards abolishing death
penalty’, The Straits Times, 18 October 2017,
www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thailandmoves-toward-abolishing-death-penalty.
94	 ‘Iran’s easing of drug laws could
halt execution of 5,000 prisoners’,
The Guardian, 10 January 2018,
www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/10/
iran-ease-drug-laws-could-halt-execution5000-prisoners-death-row.
95	 Gen Sander, Harm Reduction International,
The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global
Overview 2017, March 2018, p7.
96	 ‘Cabinet agrees to scrap mandatory death
penalty for drug traffickers’, Malaysiakini,
7 August 2017, www.malaysiakini.com/
news/391151#LcpDUFDvB0IUSXUI.99.
97	 ‘Indonesian death penalty laws to be
softened to allow reformed prisoners to
avoid execution’, ABC News, 11 January
2018, www.abc.net.au/news/2018-0111/indonesia-to-soften-death-penaltystance/9320900.
98	 Death Penalty Information Centre, The Death
Penalty in 2017: Year-end report, 2017.
99	 Robin M Maher, ‘Moore v. Texas: US
Supreme Court enforces constitutional
prohibition against executing intellectually
disabled defendants’, PRI Blog, 6 April 2017,
www.penalreform.org/blog/moore-v-texasthe-united-states-supreme-court/.
100	‘Israeli death penalty advocates win
preliminary vote in parliament’, Reuters,
3 January 2018, www.reuters.com/article/
us-israel-palestinians-deathpenalty/israelideath-penalty-advocates-win-preliminaryvote-in-parliament-idUSKBN1ES1DT;
‘Philippines moves closer to reinstating
death penalty’, The New York Times, 1 March
2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/world/
asia/philippines-death-penalty.html.
101	‘Erdoğan vows to reinstate death penalty
as referendum opponents face “attacks
and imprisonment”’, The Independent,
19 March 2017, www.independent.co.uk/
news/world/politics/recep-tayyip-erdoan-death-penalty-turkey-referendummerkel-nazi-vote-a7638151.html;
‘Maldives to restore death penalty after
60 years: Official’, Hindustan Times,
22 August 2017, www.hindustantimes.com/
world-news/maldives-to-restore-deathpenalty-after-60-years-official/storyEC7cLw6T16MoPNUGSGUU7O.html.
102	Human Rights Watch, Flawed Justice:
Accountability for ISIS crimes in Iraq, 2017.
103	Human Rights Clinic, The University of Texas
School of Law, Designed to Break You:
Human Rights Violations on Texas’ Death
Row, April 2017, p5.
104	Centre on the Death Penalty, Death Penalty
India Report: Summary, 2016, p36.
105	United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
High-level segment, 52nd session of
Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna,
11–12 March 2009, Political Declaration and
Plan of Action on International Cooperation
towards an Integrated and Balanced
Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem,
www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/
CND/Political_Declarations/PoliticalDeclarations_2009-Declaration.html.

106	For example, see The Global Commission on
Drug Policy, www.globalcommissionondrugs.
org/about-usmission-and-history/;
‘Tackling the world drug problem:
UN experts urge States to adopt human
rights approach’, United Nations Office
of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, 18 April 2016, www.ohchr.org/
EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=19833&LangID=E.
107	Javier Sagredo, ‘UNGASS on Drugs: on
expectations, coherence and sustainable
development’, PRI Blog, 4 May 2016,
www.penalreform.org/blog/ungass-drugsexpectations-coherence-sustainabledevelopment/.
108	‘UN Human Rights Council reaffirms
role of human rights in international drug
policy debate’, PRI News, 28 March 2018,
www.penalreform.org/news/un-humanrights-council-reaffirms-role-of-human.
109	Dave R. Bewley-Taylor and Marie Nougier,
‘Measuring the “world drug problem”: ARQ
Revision. Beyond traditional indicators?’,
Global Drug Policy Observatory Working
Paper No. 3, January 2018, p6.
110	UN Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice, World crime trends and
emerging issues and responses in the field
of crime prevention and criminal justice,
2013, E/CN.15/2013/9, www.unodc. org/
documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/
crime/World_Crime_Trends_2013.pdf.
111	Outcome Document of the 2016 United
Nations General Assembly Special Session
on the World Drug Problem, 19–21 April
2016, Our Joint Commitment to Effectively
Addressing and Countering the World
Drug Problem, 4 May 2016, A/RES/S-30/1,
para. 4j, www.unodc.org/postungass2016.
112	France: ‘France to soften cannabis laws –
but not legalise’, Yahoo! News, 23 January
2018, uk.news.yahoo.com/france-softencannabis-laws-not-legalise-155418579.
html; Georgia: Human Rights Watch, World
Report 2018, January 2018, p242; Norway:
‘Norway votes to decriminalise drugs and
offer treatment instead of jail time’, i News,
16 December 2017, inews.co.uk/news/
world/norway-votes-decriminalise-drugsoffer-treatment-instead-jail-time/; Canada:
Joan Bryden, ‘Canada: Liberal MPs urge
dropping criminal penalties for all illicit drug
use’, International Drug Policy Consortium,
19 January 2017, idpc.net/alerts/2018/01/
liberal-mps-urge-dropping-criminalpenalties-for-all-illicit-drug-use; USA: ‘State
Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map’, Governing,
8 January 2018, www.governing.com/
gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-mapmedical-recreational.html.
113	‘48pc of prisoners linked to narcotic
drugs’, Eleven, 28 February 2018,
www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/13506.
114	‘What next for Myanmar’s new drug
strategy?’, IDPC, 27 February 2018, idpc.
net/alerts/2018/02/what-next-for-myanmars-new-drug-strategy.
115	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p559.
116	Department of Corrections of Thailand,
Prison population as of 1 March 2018,
www.correct.go.th/stat102/display/result_
pdf_drug.php?date=2018-03-01.
117	Patcharavalan Akbar and Prin Laomanutsak,
‘A sprint through a year of drug policy
developments in Thailand’, International
Drug Policy Consortium, 15 January
2018, idpc.net/blog/2018/01/a-sprintthrough-a-year-of-drug-policydevelopments-in-thailand.
118	‘Could seismic changes in Ghana’s narcotics
laws herald a shift in Africa’s drug policy?’,
Institute for Security Studies, 13 October
2017, issafrica.org/iss-today/ghanas-boldstep-away-from-the-war-on-drugs.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

119	For example, in Argentina, see David
Gagne, ‘Argentina to Expand Drug
Treatment Program for Minor Crimes
Nationwide’, Insight Crime, 29 May 2017,
www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/argentinaexpands-drug-treatment-program-minorcrimes-nationwide/.
120	U.S. Department of Justice, Office of
Justice Programs, Drug Courts, May 2017,
www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/238527.pdf.
121	Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Measures to Reduce Pretrial
Detention, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.163 Doc. 105,
3 July 2017, p95.
122	For example, see ‘Joint Open Letter by the
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention;
the Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions; torture and
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment; the right of everyone to the
highest attainable standard of mental and
physical health; and the Committee on the
Rights of the Child, on the occasion of the
United Nations General Assembly Special
Session on Drugs, New York’, 15 April
2016, Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, www.ohchr.org/
EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=19828&LangID=E.
123	‘Philippines: Duterte’s “Drug War”
Claims 12,000+ Lives’, Human Rights
Watch, 18 January 2018, www.hrw.org/
news/2018/01/18/philippines-dutertes-drugwar-claims-12000-lives.
124	‘Preliminary examination: The Philippines’,
International Criminal Court, www.icc-cpi.int/
philippines.
125	‘Duterte to withdraw Philippines from
ICC after “outrageous attacks”’, Reuters,
14 March 2018, www.reuters.com/article/usphilippines-duterte-icc/duterte-to-withdrawphilippines-from-icc-for-violations-of-dueprocess-idUSKCN1GQ0MA.
126	‘Opioid Crisis Fast Facts’, CNN, 19 February
2018, edition.cnn.com/2017/09/18/health/
opioid-crisis-fast-facts/index.html.
127	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p593.
128	‘Jeff Sessions to crack down on
legalized marijuana, ending Obama-era
policy’, The Guardian, 4 January 2018,
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/04/
jeff-sessions-to-crack-down-on-legalizedmarijuana-ending-obama-era-policy.
129	Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Measures to Reduce Pretrial
Detention, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.163 Doc. 105,
3 July 2017, para. 90.
130	Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Measures to Reduce Pretrial
Detention, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.163 Doc. 105,
3 July 2017, para. 200.
131	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p630.
132	United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime, World Drug Report 2017: Executive
Summary: Conclusions and Policy
Implications, 2017, p13.
133	United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
World Drug Report 2017: Market Analysis
of Synthetic Drugs (Booklet 4), 2017, p33.
134	Heino Stöver and Andrej Kastelic, ‘Drug
treatment and harm reduction in prisons’,
in Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden Galea
and Caroline Udesen (eds), Prisons and
Health, World Health Organization, 2014,
pp113–133.

| 43

ENDNOTES

PART 3
Prison populations
135	Data collected by UNODC shows that
young men are overrepresented in offender
populations, particularly in countries with
high homicide rates. See UN Commission
on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice,
Twenty-seventh session, 14–18 May 2018,
Note by the Secretariat on world crime
trends and emerging issues and responses
in the field of crime prevention and criminal
justice, E/CN.15/2018/10, 2018, para. 62.
136	For example, in 2014 prisoners had a
median annual income of USD$19,185
prior to imprisonment, 41 per cent less
than non-incarcerated people of similar
ages. See ‘Prisons of Poverty: Uncovering
the pre-incarceration incomes of the
imprisoned’, Prison Policy Initiative, 9 July
2015, www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/
income.html.
137	For example, in the US, African Americans
represent 40 per cent of federal and state
prison populations, while Hispanics make
up 38 per cent of federal prison populations.
See: Drug Policy Alliance, The Drug War,
Mass Incarceration and Race, 2016.
138	‘Denmark plans double punishment for
ghetto crime’, BBC News, 27 February
2018, www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldeurope-43214596.
139	For example, in Canada, Aboriginal
adults in federal correctional services
accounted for 28 per cent of admissions
to custody and 26 per cent to community
supervision in 2015/2016. See Julie
Reitano, ‘Adult correctional statistics in
Canada, 2015/2016’, Statistics Canada, p5,
www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2017001/
article/14700-eng.htm.
140	World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal
Policy Research, www.prisonstudies.org/
highest-to-lowest/foreign-prisoners?field_
region_taxonomy_tid=All.
141	Roy Walmsley, Institute for Criminal Policy
Research, World Female Imprisonment List,
4th edition, November 2017.
142	Ibid., p2.
143	Yenni Kwok, ‘More women are in Hong
Kong’s prisons than anywhere else. They
should be protected, not criminalised’,
The Guardian, 31 August 2017,
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/
aug/31/more-women-are-in-hong-kongsprisons-than-anywhere-else-they-should-beprotected-not-criminalised.
144	For more information see ‘About WOLA’s
Women, Drug Policies, and Incarceration
Project’, Washington Office on Latin
America, womenanddrugs.wola.org/aboutthe-project/.
145	Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, Measures to Reduce Pretrial
Detention, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.163 Doc. 105,
3 July 2017, para. 200.
146	UN Human Rights Council, Report of the
United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights, Non-discrimination and
the protection of persons with increased
vulnerability in the administration of justice, in
particular in situations of deprivation of liberty
and with regard to the causes and effects
of overincarceration and overcrowding,
21 August 2017, A/HRC/36/28, para. 13.
147	Aleks Kajstura, American Civil Liberties
Union and Prison Policy Initiative, Women’s
Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017,
19 October 2017, p3.
148	Prison Reform Trust, “There’s a reason we’re
in trouble”: Domestic abuse as a driver to
women’s offending, 2017, p7.

44 |	

149	Australian Human Rights Law Centre
and Change the Record Coalition,
Over-represented and overlooked: the crisis
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
women’s growing over-imprisonment,
May 2017, p12.
150	‘End of mission statement by Dubravka
Šimonović, United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Violence against women,
its causes and consequences, on her visit
to Australia from 13 to 27 February 2017’,
Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, February 2017, www.ohchr.org/
EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=21243&LangID=E.
151	Prison Reform Trust, Counted Out: Black,
Asian and minority ethnic women in the
criminal justice system, 2017.
152	‘Pregnant Women Will No Longer Await
Trial in Brazilian Jails’, Human Rights
Watch, 23 February 2018, www.hrw.org/
news/2018/02/23/pregnant-women-will-nolonger-await-trial-brazilian-jails.
153	‘Pregnant Women and Mothers of Children
of Up to 12 Years of Age to Be Placed on
House Arrest’, Folha de S.Paulo, 21 February
2018, www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/
en/brazil/2018/02/1957522-pregnantwomen-and-mothers-of-children-of-up-to12-years-of-age-to-be-placed-on-housearrest.shtml.
154	See PRI’s resources on a gender-sensitive
approach to non-custodial sentences,
www.penalreform.org/resources/gendersensitive-approach-to-non-custodialsentences/.
155	Nischa Pieris, Reducing female incarceration
through drug law reform in Costa Rica,
Washington Office on Latin America, 2017.
156	Washington Office on Latin America,
Eliminating barriers to re-entry: Criminal
record reform in Costa Rica, 2017.
157	‘Female inmates in federal prisons will
now have more access to tampons and
pads’, Refinery29.com, 14 August 2017,
www.refinery29.com/2017/08/168010/
bureau-prisons-free-tampons-pads-inmates.
158	Joëlle Bergeron, European Parliament
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and
Home Affairs, Report on prison systems and
conditions, 6 July 2017 (2015/2062(INI)),
A8-0251/2017, p19.
159	‘Are female prisoners left behind?’,
Daily Monitor, 19 February 2018,
www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Letters/Arefemale-prisoners-left-behind-/8063144310210-o2pd1a/index.html.
160	Daniela Ancira, ‘La Cana, Mexico: providing
female prisoners with employment and
reintegration opportunities’, PRI Blog,
4 October 2017, www.penalreform.org/
blog/la-cana-mexico-how-prison-labourprogrammes-with/.
161	‘Op. Ed by Manfred Novak on the Global
Study on Children deprived of Liberty’,
Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty,
October 2017, childrendeprivedofliberty.info/
op-ed-by-manfred-novak/.
162	‘Lawmakers scrap lowering age of criminal
responsibility’, Philippine Daily Inquirer,
24 May 2017, newsinfo.inquirer.net/898945/
lawmakers-scrap-lowering-age-of-criminalresponsibility#ixzz4iC4mnr7O\.
163	‘New York raises age of criminal
responsibility in “lightning rod”
reform’, The Guardian, 10 April 2017,
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/
apr/10/new-york-raises-age-of-criminalresponsibility-teens-adult-prison.
164	‘Minimum age of criminal responsibility to
be increased’, Times Online, 17 February
2018, www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1039446/
minimum-age-of-criminal-responsibility-tobe-increased.

165	‘Justice chief targets Juvenile Law so
18-year-olds can be charged as adults’,
The Japan Times, February 2017,
www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/10/
national/crime-legal/justice-ministerconsults-panel-lower-age-criminaladulthood/#.WlOIMCOcYdX.
166	‘New facility for young offenders’,
Phnom Penh Post, 20 September 2016,
www.phnompenhpost.com/national/newfacility-young-offenders.
167	Trinidad and Tobago Juvenile Court Project,
Children Court System, www.jcp.tt/childrencourt/system.
168	‘Good news from Italy - proposed legislation,
as described in the July 2017 Chronicle,
is withdrawn by Italian Government’,
International Association of Youth and Family
Judges and Magistrates, 14 August 2017,
www.aimjf.org/storage/www.aimjf.org/Home/
Good_news_on_the_Italian_reform_AIMJF_
website_14_08_17.pdf.
169	‘Child arrests in England and Wales fall by
64 per cent in six years’, Howard League for
Penal Reform, 7 August 2017, howardleague.
org/news/childarrests2016/.
170	United Kingdom Ministry of Justice, An
analysis of trends in first time entrants to
the youth justice system, 2017.
171	HM Inspectorate of Probation for England
and Wales, Annual Report, 2017.
172	Royal Commission into the Protection
and Detention of Children in the Northern
Territory, Report of the Royal Commission
and Board of Inquiry into the Protection
and Detention of Children in the Northern
Territory, 17 November 2017.
173	‘Council of Europe anti-torture Committee
publishes report on “the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia”’, Council of Europe,
17 March 2016, www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/
home/-/asset_publisher/UUNAR96HRvRO/
content/council-of-europe-anti-torturecommittee-publishes-report-on-theformer-yugoslav-republic-of-macedoni2?&desktop=false.
174	Office of the Children’s Commissioner,
State of Care 2017: A focus on Oranga
Tamariki’s secure residences, May 2017, p22,
www.occ.org.nz/assets/State-of-Care.pdf.
175	‘Annex to the Press Release on the Visit’,
Organization of American States, 15
December 2017, www.oas.org/en/iachr/
media_center/PReleases/2017/209A.asp.
176	United Nations Rules for the Protection
of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the
Havana Rules). Rules 63–65 state that ‘the
carrying and use of weapons by personnel
should be prohibited in any facility where
juveniles are detained’.
177	‘Hundreds of Zambian children in prison
with adults’, Lusaka Voice, 8 December
2017, www.lusakavoice.com/2017/12/08/
hundreds-of-zambian-children-in-prisonwith-adults/.
178	‘Concern in Meru as child offenders
held in court cells with adults’, The Star,
11 December 2017, www.the-star.co.ke/
news/2017/12/11/concern-in-meru-as-childoffenders-held-in-court-cells-with-adults_
c1682922.
179	Patricia Taflan, Children in Custody 2016–17:
An analysis of 12–18-year-olds’ perceptions
of their experiences in secure training
centres and young offender institutions,
HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 2017.
180	The International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and the Convention on
the Rights of the Child expressly forbids
capital punishment for offenders who
were under the age of 18 at the time of the
offences of which they were convicted.
The prohibition on the execution of juvenile
offenders is so widely observed that it has
attained the status of a peremptory norm of
international law.

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ENDNOTES

181	‘Iran: Shameful execution of man arrested at
15’, Amnesty International, 15 August 2017,
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/08/
iran-shameful-execution-of-man-arrestedat-15/.
182	‘Somalia: Halt execution spree of children
in Puntland’, Amnesty International,
28 April 2017, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/
news/2017/04/somalia-halt-execution-spreeof-children-in-puntland/.
183	‘Japan hangs two death row inmates,
including man who killed Chiba
family as a minor’, The Japan Times,
19 December 2017, www.japantimes.co.jp/
news/2017/12/19/national/crime-legal/japanhangs-triple-murderer-man-minor-killedchiba-family-four.
184	Child Rights International Network,
Inhuman Sentencing of Children in Kuwait,
December 2017.
185	Child Rights International Network, Death
Penalty: Submission for the SecretaryGeneral’s Report on the Death Penalty,
30 March 2017.
186	‘Grab bars, handrails in some cells
as number of elderly prisoners rises’,
The Straits Times, 13 March 2017,
www.straitstimes.com/singapore/grabbars-handrails-in-some-cells-as-number-ofelderly-prisoners-rises.
187	‘Australian jails face elderly sex offender
crisis’, ABC News, 15 September 2017,
www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-15/
australian-jails-face-elderly-sex-offendercrisis/8945030.
188	Prisons & Probation Ombudsman,
Learning from PPO investigations: Older
Prisoners, June 2017, www.ppo.gov.uk/
app/uploads/2017/06/6-3460_PPO_OlderPrisoners_WEB.pdf.
189	‘Ratio of elderly ex-inmates returning to
prison within 2 years rises’, Kyodo News,
November 2017, english.kyodonews.net/
news/2017/11/d73393a09db5-ratio-ofelderly-ex-inmates-returning-to-prisonwithin-2-years-goes-up.html.
190	‘The Obama administration’s plan to deal
with elderly inmates isn’t working. Can it be
fixed?’, Washington Post, 5 September 2017,
www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/
wp/2017/09/05/the-obama-administrationsplan-to-deal-with-elderly-inmates-isntworking-can-it-be-fixed/.
191	‘Duterte to grant clemency to 127 sick,
elderly prisoners’, Manila Bulletin, 25 January
2017, news.mb.com.ph/2017/01/25/duterteto-grant-clemency-to-127-sick-elderlyprisoners/; Human Rights Watch, World
Report 2018, January 2018, p35 (Argentina).
192	Prisons Inspectorate Scotland, Who
Cares? The Lived Experience of Older
Prisoners in Scotland’s Prisons, July 2017,
www.prisonsinspectoratescotland. gov.
uk/sites/default/files/publication_files/
SCT03172875161.pdf; ‘Elderly inmate’s
death highlights lack of aging strategy in
Canada’s prisons’, CBC, 25 January 2017,
www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/
seniors-in-jail-canada-1.3951603; ‘Prison
Services needs strategy for dealing with
inmates with dementia, ombudsman says’,
British Journal of Family Medicine, August
2016, www.gmjournal.co.uk/prison-servicesneeds-strategy-for-dealing-with-inmateswith-dementia-ombudsman-says; Human
Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars: The Aging
Prison Population in the United States, 2012.
193	‘Japanese Justice Ministry devises dementia
test’, Japan Times, 21 January 2018,
www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/21/
national/social-issues/japanese-justiceministry-devises-dementia-test-elderlyinmates/#.Wng-1macb-Z.
194	Human Rights Watch, Old Behind Bars:
The Aging Prison Population in the United
States, 2012.

195	United Nations General Assembly, Report of
the Independent Expert on protection against
violence and discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity, 19 July 2017,
A/72/172, para. 30.
196	Ibid.
197	International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans
and Intersex Association, State-Sponsored
Homophobia, 15 May 2017.
198	Human Rights Watch, They have long
arms and they can find me, 26 May 2017,
www.hrw.org/report/2017/05/26/they-havelong-arms-and-they-can-find-me/anti-gaypurge-local-authorities-russias.
199	‘Azerbaijan: Anti-Gay Crackdown’, Human
Rights Watch, 3 October 2017, www.hrw.org/
news/2017/10/03/azerbaijan-anti-gaycrackdown.
200	‘Egyptian state wages unprecedented
arrest campaign against LGBTI individuals’,
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights,
4 October 2017, eipr.org/en/press/2017/10/
egyptian-state-wages-unprecedented-arrestcampaign-against-individuals-based-their.
201	United Nations Latin American Institute for
the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment
of Offenders, Diagnóstico sobre la situación
de las personas LGBTI y otras poblaciones
en condición de vulnerabilidad privadas de
libertad en Costa Rica, 2017.
202	Center for American Progress and Movement
Advancement Project, Unjust: How the
broken juvenile and criminal justice systems
fail, August 2016, www.lgbtmap.org/file/lgbtcriminal-justice-youth.pdf?ed2f26df2d9c416f
bddddd2330a778c6=snbhhoobhb-sdlxdnyn.
203	‘“Overwhelming” Number of Lesbians,
Bisexual Women Incarcerated’, NBC News,
3 March 2017, www.nbcnews.com/feature/
nbc-out/overwhelming-number-lesbiansbisexual-women-incarcerated-n728666.
204	‘USA: California: State’s prisons struggling
to overhaul gender-identity policies’,
San Francisco Chronicle, 5 August
2017, www.sfchronicle.com/lgbt/
article/State-s-prisons-struggling-tooverhaul-11736669.php.
205	‘Prison system sets up new
accommodations for LGBT inmates’,
The Nation, 23 March 2017,
www.nationmultimedia.com/news/
national/30309977.
206	‘Canada’s prison system overhauls
transgender inmate policy’, CBC News,
31 January 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/politics/
transgender-inmates-csc-policy-1.4512510.
207	‘In historic 1st, transgender inmate wins
transfer to women’s prison’, CBC News,
21 July 2017, www.cbc.ca/news/politics/
fallon-aubee-transgender-inmate-1.4215594.
208	‘Prison allows homosexual conjugal visit
for first time’, Times of Israel, 25 April 2017,
www.timesofisrael.com/prison-allowshomosexual-conjugal-visit-for-first-time/.
209	Kseniya Kirichenko, International Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex
Association, United Nations Treaty Bodies:
References to sexual orientation, gender
identity, gender expression and sex
characteristics, November 2017.
210	The Yogyakarta Principles plus 10,
Principle 9: Relating to the Right to Treatment
with Humanity while in Detention, November
2017, yogyakartaprinciples.org/relating-tothe-right-to-treatment-with-humanity-whilein-detention-principle-9/.
211	Human Rights Watch, “I Needed Help,
Instead I Was Punished”: Abuse and Neglect
of Prisoners with Disabilities in Australia,
February 2018.
212	For a succinct overview of issues faced
by prisoners with physical disabilities,
see United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime, Handbook on Prisoners with Special
Needs, 2009.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

213	European Court of Human Rights, Abele
v. Latvia, Applications nos. 60429/12 and
72760/12, 5 October 2017.
214	The Marshall Project, Why
Many Deaf Prisoners Can’t Call
Home, 19 September 2017.
215	American Civil Liberties Union, Caged In:
Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm
on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities,
January 2017.
216	‘Settlement Removes Barriers for
Disabled State Prison Inmates’, Daily
Business Review, 11 December 2017,
www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/sites/
dailybusinessreview/2017/12/11/settlementremoves-barriers-for-disabled-state-prison-in
mates/?slreturn=20180008041137.
217	Mental Health Commission of New South
Wales, Towards a just system: mental illness
and cognitive impairment in the criminal
justice system, July 2017.
218	Human Rights Watch, “I Needed Help,
Instead I Was Punished”: Abuse and Neglect
of Prisoners with Disabilities in Australia,
February 2018.
219	Office of the Inspector General, U.S.
Department of Justice, Review of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Use of Restrictive
Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness,
July 2017.
220	Amnesty International, Amnesty International
Report 2017/18, February 2018, p89.
221	‘South Africa: Law to Stop Detention
of Mentally Ill in Prisons’, AllAfrica,
February 2017, allafrica.com/
stories/201702100249.html.
222	‘Pregnant Women Will No Longer Await
Trial in Brazilian Jails’, Human Rights
Watch, 23 February 2018, www.hrw.org/
news/2018/02/23/pregnant-women-will-nolonger-await-trial-brazilian-jails.
223	‘Prisons Failing Mentally Ill, Especially
Women: Federal Ombudsman’, The
Epoch Times, 1 November 2017,
www.theepochtimes.com/prisons-failingmentally-ill-especially-women-federalombudsman_2346726.html.
224	Marayca López and Laura MaielloReidy, ‘Prisons and the mentally ill: why
design matters’, PRI Blog, 28 June 2017,
www.penalreform.org/blog/prisons-and-thementally-ill-why-design-matters/.

| 45

ENDNOTES

PART 4:
Prison management
225	‘‘‘Screaming in terror’’: teen survivor
relives ordeal of Guatemala children’s
shelter fire’, The Guardian, 22 November
2017, www.theguardian.com/globaldevelopment/2017/nov/22/screamingterror-teen-survivor-guatemalachildrens-shelter-fire.
226	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p36.
227	Ibid., p418.
228	‘Alabama Has Nation’s Most Violent Prisons,
and They’re Getting Worse’, Equal Justice
Initiative, 18 September 2017, eji.org/news/
alabama-prison-violence-escalating-witheight-homicides-in-2017.
229	‘Prison violence ‘‘unacceptable in a civilised
country’’’, Radio NZ, 6 December 2017,
www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/345526/
prison-violence-unacceptable-in-a-civilisedcountry.
230	See United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime, World Drug Report 2017: Market
Analysis of Synthetic Drugs, (Booklet 4),
pp43–44, on violence in prisons associated
with synthetic cannabinoid use.
231	Jacqueline Beard, Prison Safety in England
and Wales, House of Commons Library
Briefing, 5 December 2017.
232	‘Philippines prison: Two dead in riot over
spilt water’, BBC, 4 November 2017,
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41870456;
‘One Dead, Three Wounded in
Nusakambangan Prison Riot’, Jakarta Globe,
8 November 2017, jakartaglobe.id/news/
one-dead-three-wounded-nusakambanganprison-riot/; ‘Inmates death sparks riot
in Byculla women’s prison’, The Hindu,
25 June 2017, www.thehindu.com/news/
cities/mumbai/inmates-death-sparks-riotin-byculla-womens-prison/article19143262.
ece; ‘Three killed, four injured in Congo jail
mutiny’, Daily Nation, 30 December 2016,
www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Threekilled-four-injured-in-Congo-jail-riot/10663501830-dom2k2z/; ‘Riot breaks out at
Pretoria prison’, Times Live, www.timeslive.
co.za/news/south-africa/2017-07-02-watchriot-breaks-out-at-pretoria-prison/.
233	‘Prison fight leaves nine dead in Mexico’s
border city’, Reuters, 11 August 2017,
www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-prison/
prison-fight-leaves-nine-dead-in-mexicosborder-city-idUSKBN1AR05D; ‘37 Die in
Clash between Inmates, Police at Venezuelan
Prison’, Latin American Herald Tribune,
30 January 2018, www.laht.com/article.
asp?ArticleId=2441889&CategoryId=10717;
‘42 inmates injured in Medellin prison riot’,
Colombia Reports, 8 December 2017,
colombiareports.com/42-inmates-injuredmedellin-prison-riot/; ‘Two inmates seriously
injured in La Vega prison riot’, Dominican
Today, 1 August 2017, dominicantoday.com/
dr/local/2017/08/01/two-inmates-seriouslyinjured-in-la-vega-prison-riot/; ‘Two killed,
several injured in riot at Guatemala prison’,
CTV News, 20 March 2017, www.ctvnews.
ca/world/two-killed-several-injured-in-riot-atguatemala-prison-1.3331901.
234	‘Rio de Janeiro violence: Hostages freed as
prison riot ends’, BBC News, 19 February
2018, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latinamerica-43109006.
235	‘56 killed, many beheaded, in grisly Brazil
prison riot’, Al Jazeera, 3 January 2017,
www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/60killed-beheaded-grisly-brazil-prisonriot-170102185216472.html.
236	‘GameChangers 2017: The Long Road to
Prison Reform in Latin America’, Parker
Asmann, Insight Crime, 10 January 2018,
www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/
gamechangers-2017-long-road-prisonreform-latin-america/.

46 |	

237	See Amnesty International, Torture in 2014:
30 years of broken promises, May 2014.
238	‘Ending torture needs fresh commitment
from every UN Member State – UN experts’,
OHCHR, 23 June 2017, www.ohchr.org/
EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.
aspx?NewsID=21794&LangID=E.
239	Committee against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, Concluding observations on the
fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka, 27 January
2017, CAT/C/LKA/CO/5, para. 31.
240	Amnesty International, Report 2016/17: The
State of the World’s Rights, 2017, pp51, 198,
225, 270, 312, 372.
241	‘Argentina: over five hundred prisoners
on hunger strike call for justice’,
Prison Insider, 1 September 2017,
www.prison-insider.com/en/news/argentineplus-de-cinq-cents-prisonniers-en-greve-dela-faim-reclament-justice.
242	‘96 Barberton prison “lifers” go on
hunger strike’, News24, 12 January
2018, www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/
News/96-barberton-prison-lifers-go-onhunger-strike-20180112; ‘Barberton Prison
Inmates Hospitalised Due to Hunger Strike,
says Fellow Inmate’, Eyewitness News,
13 January 2018, ewn.co.za/2018/01/13/
barberton-prison-inmate-hospitalised-dueto-hunger-strike-says-fellow-inmate.
243	‘UN expert concerned at condition of
prisoners on hunger strike in Iran’, United
Nations Human Rights Office of the
High Commissioner, 31 August 2017,
www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/
DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22017&LangID=E.
244	‘Iran: Mass hunger strike by political
prisoners in protest at inhumane conditions’,
Amnesty International, 22 August 2017,
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/08/
iran-mass-hunger-strike-by-politicalprisoners-in-protest-at-inhumaneconditions/.
245	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p169.
246	‘Russia orders prison inmate on hunger strike
to pay his own medical costs’, The Journal,
13 February 2017, www.thejournal.ie/russiahunger-strike-3238339-Feb2017/.
247	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p278.
248	Amnesty International, Report 2017/18:
The State of the World’s Human Rights,
22 February 2018, p209.
249	‘Guantanamo detainee: US changed forcefeeding policy’, Al Jazeera, 15 November
2017, www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/
guantanamo-detainee-changed-forcefeeding-policy-171115161210148.html.
250	Committee against Torture, Concluding
observations on the fifth periodic report
of Israel, 3 June 2016, CAT/C/ISR/CO/5,
paras. 26–27.
251	World Medical Association Declaration
of Tokyo – Guidelines for Physicians
Concerning Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment in Relation to Detention and
Imprisonment, adopted by the 29th World
Medical Assembly, October 1975.
252	World Medical Association Declaration of
Malta on Hunger Strikes, adopted by the
43rd World Medical Assembly, November
1991, Principles nos. 11 and 14.
253	‘Hunger strikes in prisons: The ICRC’s
position’, International Committee of the
Red Cross, 31 January 2013, www.icrc.org/
en/document/hunger-strikes-prisons-icrcposition.
254	22nd Council of Europe Conference of
Directors of Prison and Probation Services,
Lillestrøm, Norway, 20–21 June 2017, Staff
selection, training and development in the
21st Century: Conclusions, 2017.

255	Council of Europe, European Committee on
Crime Problems, Council for Penological
Co-operation, 17th meeting of the Working
Group, Strasbourg 22–24 January 2018,
PC-CP (2018) 2, 2018.
256	‘Prison staff in Scotland are attacked every
two days’, The Scotsman, 11 November
2017, www.scotsman.com/news/politics/
prison-staff-in-scotland-are-attacked-everytwo-days-1-4610518.
257	India: ‘IS Suspect Attacks Prison
Guard’, Benar News, 4 December 2017,
www.benarnews.org/english/news/bengali/
jail-attack-12042017142718.html; Canada:
‘Correctional officers violently assaulted at
Oliver jail’, Global News, 14 February 2018,
globalnews.ca/news/4026784/correctionalofficer-violently-assaulted-at-oliver-jail/; US:
‘‘‘It’s a bloodbath”: staff describe life inside
America’s most violent prison’, The Guardian,
21 October 2016, www.theguardian.com/usnews/2016/oct/21/holman-prison-alabamaguard-speaks-out.
258	South Africa: ‘Too Many Prisoners And Not
Enough Warders Make A Violent Brew in
South Africa’s Prisons’, Huffington Post,
27 December 2016, www.huffingtonpost.
co.za/2016/12/27/too-many-prisoners-andnot-enough-warders-make-a-violent-brewin_a_21642660/.
259	‘Prison officers permanently banned
from striking after Government wins High
Court bid’, Independent, 19 July 2017,
www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/homenews/prison-officers-strike-ban-permanentindustrial-action-home-office-high-courtwin-prison-officers-a7848346.html.
260	‘Women working in male prisons face
harassment from inmates and co-workers’,
The Washington Post, 27 January 2018,
www.washingtonpost.com/local/socialissues/women-working-in-male-prisonsface-harassment-from-inmates-and-coworkers/2018/01/27/21552cee-01f1-11e89d31-d72cf78dbeee_story.html.
261	‘£55k payout for breastfeeding Northern
Ireland prison officer driven to brink of
suicide by bullying’, Belfast Telegraph,
9 November 2017, www.belfasttelegraph.
co.uk/news/northern-ireland/55k-payoutfor-breastfeeding-northern-ireland-prisonofficer-driven-to-brink-of-suicide-bybullying-36302549.html.
262	‘More women urged to join prison service’,
The New Times, 26 January 2018,
www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/228385/.
263	UNAIDS, Update on HIV in prisons and other
closed settings, UNAIDS/PCB (41)/17.23,
23 November 2017.
264	‘People in prisons and other closed settings’,
World Health Organization, www.who.int/hiv/
topics/prisons/en/.
265	Presentation by Uganda Prison Service,
10 March 2016.
266	‘Bangladesh: 63 jails have no
doctors’, The Daily Star, 15 May 2017,
www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/63-jailshave-no-doctors-1405240.
267	‘Improve healthcare in prisons within two
years, Health Committee tells Scottish
Government’, Holyrood, 10 May 2017,
www.holyrood.com/articles/news/improvehealthcare-prisons-within-two-years-healthcommittee-tells-scottish-government.
268	‘Suspected cholera cases in Yemen hit one
million: ICRC’, Reuters, 21 December 2017,
www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-securityhealth/suspected-cholera-cases-in-yemenhit-one-million-icrc-idUSKBN1EF0ZH;
see also PRI’s work (in Arabic only):
www.yemen-media.info/news_details.
php?lng=arabic&sid=28831.
269	‘High alert over cholera outbreak in
Kisumu’, Business Daily, 25 July 2017,
www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/
counties/Fear-cholera-outbreak-Kodiagaprison/4003142-4031974-pqcm3p/.

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ENDNOTES

270	‘Prisons in frantic bid to avert typhoid
outbreak’, Daily News, 20 January 2017,
www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2017/01/20/
prisons-in-frantic-bid-to-avert-typhoidoutbreak.
271	United Nations Economic and Social
Council, Commission on Crime Prevention
and Criminal Justice, Ensuring access to
measures for the prevention of motherto-child transmission of HIV in prisons,
E/CN.15/2017/L.5/Rev.1, 25 May 2017.
272	In 2016 there was USD$679,981,251
given in philanthropic support to
address HIV/AIDS, an increase from 2015.
See, Funders Concerned about AIDS,
Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS
in 2016, December 2017.
273	‘Proposed U.S. Cuts to AIDS Funding Could
Cause Millions of Deaths: Report’, Foreign
Policy, 1 December 2017, foreignpolicy.
com/2017/12/01/proposed-u-s-cuts-toaids-funding-could-cause-millions-ofdeaths-report-world-aids-day-hiv-globalhealth-pepfar-state-department-trumpone-campaign/.
274	Uganda: Uganda Prison Service,
Sero-behavioural Survey, 2013; Zimbabwe:
‘Zimbabwe prisoners deprived of ARVs’,
Bulawayo24 News, 24 September 2017,
bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-nationalbyo-118414.html.
275	Harm Reduction International, The Global
State of Harm Reduction, 2016, p19.
276	‘Correctional Service Canada expands
take-home naloxone kit program for
inmates’, CBC News, 13 July 2017,
www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/
corrections-take-home-naloxonekits-1.4202556.
277	Thérése Lynn, ‘Launch of the evaluation of
the HSE Naloxone Demonstration Project’,
Drugnet Ireland, Issue 60, Winter 2017,
pp18–19; Moldova: Ina Tcaci, The impact
of adopting evidence-based HIV harm
reduction programs in prisons, UNODC,
Presentation at the 25th International Harm
Reduction Conference, Montreal, Canada,
16 May 2017.
278	Michelle Baybutt, Catherine Ritter and Hein
Stöver, ‘Tobacco use in prison settings:
a need for policy implementation’, in
Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden Galea
and Caroline Udesen (eds), Prisons and
Health, World Health Organization, 2014,
pp138–147, 138.
279	For example, see Christina Hartwig, Heino
Stöver and Caren Weilandt, Report on
tobacco smoking in prison, European
Union Directorate-General for Health
and Consumers, Drug policy and harm
reduction, SANCO/2006/C4/02, April 2008,
p12, www.ohrn.nhs.uk/resource/policy/
TobaccoSmoking.pdf.
280	Michelle Baybutt, Catherine Ritter and Hein
Stöver, ‘Tobacco use in prison settings:
a need for policy implementation’, in
Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden Galea
and Caroline Udesen (eds), Prisons and
Health, World Health Organization, 2014,
pp138–147, 138.
281	For example, see Christina Hartwig, Heino
Stöver and Caren Weilandt, Report on
tobacco smoking in prison, European
Union Directorate-General for Health
and Consumers, Drug policy and harm
reduction, SANCO/2006/C4/02, April
2008, www.ohrn.nhs.uk/resource/policy/
TobaccoSmoking.pdf.
282	See World Health Organization, Health
in Prisons European Database (HIPED),
apps.who.int/gho/data/node.prisons.Smoke_
free_Cells?lang=en.

283	‘Missouri prisons to go smoke free after
double-murderer wins in court’, The
Kansas City Star, 22 September 2017,
www.kansascity.com/news/politicsgovernment/article174915201.html.
284	UK: ‘Spice use rise after HMP Cardiff
smoking ban’, BBC News, 16 January
2018, www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-walessouth-east-wales-42703361; Canada:
‘Federal prisons ban indoor smoking’,
CBC News, 12 July 2005, www.cbc.ca/
news/canada/federal-prisons-ban-indoorsmoking-1.538713; Australia: ‘Victoria
urged to rethink smoking ban in prisons
after violent riot’, The Guardian, 1 July 2015,
www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/
jul/01/victoria-urged-to-rethink-smokingban-in-prisons-after-violent-riot.
285	‘Nicotine patches causing bullying and
standovers at NZ prison: Ombudsman
report’, New Zealand Herald, 2 August 2017,
www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_
id=1&objectid=11898058.
286	Michelle Baybutt, Catherine Ritter and Hein
Stöver, ‘Tobacco use in prison settings:
a need for policy implementation’, in
Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden Galea
and Caroline Udesen (eds), Prisons and
Health, World Health Organization, 2014,
pp138–147, 139.
287	See Rule 45(2) of the Nelson Mandela Rules,
which prohibits solitary confinement and
other similar measures for women, children
and prisoners with mental or physical
disabilities (when their conditions would be
exacerbated by such measures). Also see
Rule 67 of the UN Rules for the Protection
of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty
(the Havana Rules).
288	For example, as outlined in Sharon Shalev,
‘Solitary Confinement as a Prison Health
Issue’, in Stefan Enggist, Lars Møller, Gauden
Galea and Caroline Udesen (eds), Prisons
and Health, World Health Organization, 2014,
pp27–35.
289	Dr Agnieszka Martynowicz and
Dr Linda Moore, ‘Behind the door’: Solitary
confinement in the Irish Penal System, Irish
Penal Reform Trust, 2018.
290	Ti Lamusse, Solitary Confinement in New
Zealand Prisons, Economic and Social
Research Aotearoa, 2018, p4.
291	‘Solitary confinement up 151% in five
years to 2016 – but prison population up
only 16%’, 1 News Now, 29 January 2018,
www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/
solitary-confinement-up-151-in-five-years2016-but-prison-population-only-16.
292	Sharon Shalev, Thinking outside the Box?
A review of seclusion and restraint practices
in New Zealand, New Zealand Human Rights
Commission, 2017, p26.
293	American Civil Liberties Union, Caged in: The
Devastating Harms of Solitary Confinement
on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities, 2017.
294	International Federation for Human
Rights and Center for Prisoners’ Rights,
United Nations Human Rights Committee
(CCPR) – 121st session Joint submission
for the adoption of the List of issues, 2017,
www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/fidh_-_cpr_-_japan_-_
joint_submission_for_loi.pdf.
295	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p63; see also United Nations
Committee against Torture, Concluding
observations on the second and third
periodic reports of Bahrain, 29 May 2017,
CAT/C/BHR/CO/2-3, para. 20.
296	United Nations Committee against Torture,
Concluding observations on the second
periodic report of Afghanistan, 12 June 2017,
CAT/C/AFG/CO/2, para. 29.
297	Lauri Love v. The Government of the United
States of America [2018] EWHC 172 at [119].

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

298	For example, see joint report by the
Department of Mental Health and Substance
Abuse, World Health Organization, and
the International Association for Suicide
Prevention, Preventing Suicide in Jails
and Prisons, 2007, p13, acknowledging
the ‘disproportionate’ amount of suicides
in segregation.
299	‘Suicide attempts have more than doubled
in Texas prisons’, Houston Chronicle,
5 February 2018, www.chron.com/news/
houston-texas/article/Attempted-suicidesrise-sharply-in-Texas-prisons-12553728.php.
300	‘South Africa: Probe into Two Solitary
Confinement Suicides in Western Cape
Jail’, AllAfrica, 5 April 2017, allafrica.com/
stories/201704050011.html.
301	Open Society Justice Initiative and
Amnesty International, Inhuman and
Unnecessary: Human Rights Violations in
Dutch High-Security Prisons in the Context
of Counterterrorism, October 2017.
302	United Nations Committee against Torture,
Concluding observations on the initial report
of Lebanon, 30 May 2017, CAT/C/LBN/CO/1,
para. 22.
303	United Nations Committee against Torture,
Concluding observations on the combined
third to fifth periodic reports of the Republic
of Korea, 30 May 2017, CAT/C/KOR/CO/3-5,
para. 23.
304	Ibid., para. 24; United Nations Committee
against Torture, Concluding observations on
the initial report of Lebanon, 30 May 2017,
CAT/C/LBN/CO/1, para. 23, with reference
to: United Nations Standard Minimum Rules
for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson
Mandela Rules), Rule 44.
305	Rule 67 of the UN Rules for the Protection
of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty
(the Havana Rules).
306	‘Authorities defend running of Perth
youth prison after allegations of torture’,
The Guardian, 16 January 2018,
www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/
jan/17/authorities-defend-running-of-perthyouth-prison-after-allegations-of-torture.
307	AB v The Secretary of State for Justice,
2017, EWHC 1694 (Admin).
308	United Nations Committee against Torture,
Concluding observations on the fourth
periodic report of Armenia, 26 January 2017,
CAT/C/ARM/CO/4, para. 37.
309	‘Ending Solitary for Juveniles: A Goal
Grows Closer’, The Marshall Project,
1 August 2017, www.themarshallproject.
org/2017/08/01/ending-solitary-for-juvenilesa-goal-grows-closer.
310	‘Prisons see drop in solitary confinement
use as vulnerable groups granted immunity’,
The Globe and Mail, 7 August 2017,
www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/
prisons-see-drop-in-solitary-confinementuse-as-vulnerable-groups-granted-immunity/
article35897637/.
311	British Columbia Civil Liberties Association v.
Canada (Attorney General), 2018 BCSC 62,
para. 137.
312	Ibid., para. 250.
313	‘Prisons see drop in solitary confinement
use as vulnerable groups granted immunity’,
The Globe and Mail, 7 August 2017,
www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/
prisons-see-drop-in-solitary-confinementuse-as-vulnerable-groups-granted-immunity/
article35897637/.
314	‘Canada’s use of lengthy solitary
confinement in jails is unconstitutional
– judge’, The Guardian, 18 January
2018, www.theguardian.com/
world/2018/jan/18/canadas-use-oflengthy-solitary-confinement-in-jailsis-unconstitutional-judge.

| 47

ENDNOTES

315	‘Press release: Federal Government appeals
historic solitary confinement victory’,
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association,
19 February 2018, bccla.org/news/2018/02/
press-release-federal-government-appealshistoric-solitary-confinement-victory/.
316	British Columbia Civil Liberties Association v.
Canada (Attorney General), 2018 BCSC 62,
e.g. at para. 57.
317	Irish Penal Reform Trust, Census of
Restricted Regime Prisoners October
2017, www.irishprisons.ie/wp-content/
uploads/documents_pdf/October2017-Restriction.pdf.
318	‘Minister introduces Amendment to Prison
Rules: “Meaningful Human Contact”’, Irish
Penal Reform Trust, 7 July 2017, www.iprt.ie/
contents/3136.
319	Irish Prison Service, Elimination of solitary
confinement: Policy document, 11 July 2017,
www.irishprisons.ie/wp-content/uploads/
documents_pdf/Elimination-of-solitaryconfinement-Policy.pdf.
320	‘Texas Prisons quietly end use of punitive
solitary confinement’, Houston Chronicle,
21 September 2017, www.chron.com/news/
houston-texas/article/Texas-prisons-quietlyend-use-of-punitive-12217981.php.
321	‘Texas prisons stop using solitary
confinement as punishment’,
Star-Telegram, 22 September 2017,
www.star-telegram.com/news/state/
texas/article174884131.html.
322	Lord Farmer, Importance of strengthening
prisoners’ family ties to prevent reoffending
and reduce intergenerational crime, Ministry
of Justice, 10 August 2017.
323	‘A rare hug from daddy during special visit
to prison’, Straits Times, 8 October 2017,
www.straitstimes.com/singapore/a-rare-hugfrom-daddy-during-special-visit-to-prison.
324	‘Zimbabwe: Prisoners Enjoy Rare Quality
Family Time’, AllAfrica, 6 October 2017,
allafrica.com/stories/201710060384.html.
325	‘Bars on the Windows, Laughter between
the Lines’, New York Times, 15 December
2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/sports/
soccer/soccer-prison-italy.html.
326	Departmental Instruction No.002, issued on
23 January 2018, information provided to
Thailand Institute of Justice, February 2018.
327	‘Parc Prison to expand school parent
evenings to all inmates’, BBC News,
9 January 2018, www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukwales-south-east-wales-42620686.
328	‘Leeuwarden prison experiments with
family space for fathers’, Dutch News,
30 October 2017, www.dutchnews.nl/
news/archives/2017/10/leeuwarden-prisonexperiments-with-family-space-for-fathers/.
329	European Court of Human Rights, Polyakova
and Others v. Russia, Application nos.
35090/09, 35845/11, 45694/13 and
59747/14, 7 March 2017.
330	‘Convicts to receive mobile phone facilities
in prison’, Dhaka Tribune, 8 February 2018,
www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2018/02/08/
convicts-mobile-phone-prison/.
331	‘French prison cells to have landline
phones in bid to improve rehabilitation’,
The Telegraph, 2 January 2018,
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/02/
french-prison-cells-have-landline-phonesbid-improve-rehabilitation/.
332	Lauren Mumby and Professor Todd Hogue,
Prison Voice Mail: An Initial Evaluation,
University of Lincoln, August 2017.
333	‘The end of American prison visits: jails
end face-to-face contact – and families
suffer’, The Guardian, 9 December 2017,
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/
dec/09/skype-for-jailed-video-calls-prisonsreplace-in-person-visits.

48 |	

334	For example, see ‘Louisiana’s Jefferson
Parish moves to video-only inmate
visitation’, MuckRock, 2 October 2017,
www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/
oct/02/LA-video-call/; ‘Mecklenburg jail visits
are now solely by video. Critics say that
hurts inmates, families’, Charlotte Observer,
26 November 2017, www.charlotteobserver.
com/news/local/article185816728.html.
335	‘Here’s What Happened After Trump’s
FCC Got to Oversee Inmates’ Phone
Service’, Huffington Post, 9 August
2017, www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/
heres-what-happened-after-trumpsfcc-got-to-oversee-inmate-phone-calls_
us_598b6c83e4b0449ed5079bd4.
336	‘German court rules against
overpricing phone calls for prisoners’,
Reuters, 10 November 2017, www.reuters.
com/article/us-germany-prison/germancourt-rules-against-overpricing-phone-callsfor-prisoners-idUSKBN1DS19V.
337	Thirteenth Congress on Crime Prevention
and Criminal Justice, Doha Declaration on
Integrating Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice into the Wider United Nations
Agenda to Address Social and Economic
Challenges and to Promote the Rule of Law
at the National and International Levels, and
Public Participation, Doha, 12–19 April 2015.
338	‘“Cow therapy” to reform prison inmates in
Haryan’, Deccan Herald, 18 January 2018,
www.deccanherald.com/content/654578/
cow-therapy-reform-prison-inmates.html.
339	‘Chinese prison psychodramas help
rehabilitate convicts’, Global Times,
3 August 2017, www.globaltimes.cn/
content/1059418.shtml.
340	Nina Champion, ‘Prison education: university
partnerships paving the way to successful
reintegration’, PRI Blog, 9 January 2018,
www.penalreform.org/blog/prison-educationuniversity-partnerships-paving-the-way-to/.
341	‘Raising the Minimum Wage
Can Reduce Recidivism: Study’,
The Crime Report, 8 February 2018,
thecrimereport.org/2018/02/08/raising-theminimum-wage-can-reduce-recidivismstudy/.
342	‘“Irrelevant” criminal record checks harm
ex-offenders’ job hopes’, The Guardian,
25 November 2017, www.theguardian.com/
uk-news/2017/nov/25/irrelevant-criminalrecord-checks-harm-job-hopes.
343	‘Job training program for inmates stuck in
prison watchdog’, CBC News, 27 January
2017, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/
nova-scotia/prison-training-workforcerehabilitation-inmates-1.3953592.
344	European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment (CPT), Factsheet: Women in
prison, CPT/Inf(2018)5, January 2018, p3.
345	‘Roadmap to a new chance: UN
releases new guidance for prison-based
rehabilitation’, United Nations Office on
Drugs and Crime, 1 December 2017,
www.unodc.org/dohadeclaration/en/
news/2017/12/roadmap-to-a-new-chanceun-releases-new-guidance-for-prison-basedrehabilitation.html.
346	Andrew Silke and Tinka Veldhuis,
‘Countering Violent Extremism in Prisons:
A Review of Key Recent Research and
Critical Research Gaps’, Perspectives on
Terrorism, Volume 11, Issue 5, 2017.
347	United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Handbook on the Management of Violent
Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention
of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons,
2016. Guidance was also produced by the
Council of Europe: Council for Penological
Cooperation, Handbook for Prison and
Probation Services Regarding Radicalisation
and Violent Extremism, Council of Europe,
1 December 2016, PC-CP (2016) 2 rev 4.

348	Professor Peter R. Neumann, Countering
Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that
Lead to Terrorism: Ideas, Recommendations,
and Good Practices from the OSCE Region,
Organization for Security and Co-operation
in Europe, 29 September 2017.
349	‘OSCE/ODIHR meeting explores importance
of independent detention monitoring to
protect human rights while preventing
violent extremism and radicalisation’, Penal
Reform International, 5 December 2017,
www.penalreform.org/news/osceodihrand-pri-meeting-explores-importance-ofindependent/.
350	Europris, RAN/Europris Staff Training
Collection, www.europris.org/file/rantraining-collection/.
351	For example, see the Vera 2 instrument,
the REM (Risk Assessment Extremism for
Managing), and the ERG22+ (Extremism
Risk Guidance). See D. Elaine Pressman
and John Flockton, ‘Violent Extremist Risk
Assessment: Issues and Applications of The
Vera-2 in High-Security Correctional Setting’,
in Andrew Silke (ed), Prisons, Terrorism and
Extremism: Critical Issues in Management,
Radicalisation and Reform, January 2014.
352	Open Society Justice Initiative and
Amnesty International, Inhuman and
Unnecessary: Human Rights Violations in
Dutch High-Security Prisons in the Context
of Counterterrorism, October 2017.
353	‘France to seal off 1,500 radicalized inmates
in prisons’, The Local France, 23 February
2018, www.thelocal.fr/20180223/france-toseal-off-1500-radicalized-inmates-in-prisons.
354	Ian Acheson, Summary of the main findings
of the review of Islamist extremism in prisons,
probation and youth justice, Ministry of
Justice, London, 2016.
355	‘Press release: Dangerous extremists to
be separated from mainstream prison
population’, Ministry of Justice, 21 April
2017, www.gov.uk/government/news/
dangerous-extremists-to-be-separatedfrom-mainstream-prison-population.
356	‘Turnbull ministers welcome new NSW
prison for radical inmates’, The Guardian,
11 June 2017, www.theguardian.com/
australia-news/2017/jun/11/turnbullministers-welcome-new-nsw-prisonfor-radical-inmates.
357	United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Handbook on the Management of Violent
Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention
of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons,
2016, p137.
358	‘Kyrgyzstan implements UN de-radicalisation
programme for prisoners’, Caravanseri,
October 2017, central.asia-news.com/en_
GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2017/10/13/
feature-01.
359	‘Italy offers a glimpse of the international
concern over violent extremism in prisons’,
LA Times, 24 April 2017, www.latimes.com/
world/europe/la-fg-italy-prisons-extremists2017-story.html.
360	American Civil Liberties Union, Abandoned
and Abused, 2006.
361	‘Nepal releases more than 500 prisoners
as quake damages jails’, Hindustan Times,
29 May 2015, www.hindustantimes.com/
world/nepal-releases-more-than-500prisoners-as-quake-damages-jails/storyGmVZwS2A2hdr4VYxPxYGZN.html.
362	‘8 Guilty for Prison Massacre in Rare Trial of
Haiti’s Police’, New York Times, 19 January
2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/world/
americas/7-haitian-policemen-convicted-in2011-les-cayes-prison-killings.html.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

ENDNOTES

363	The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
defines disaster risk reduction as ‘aimed
at preventing new and reducing existing
disaster risk and managing residual risk,
all of which contribute to strengthening
resilience and therefore to the achievement
of sustainable development’, UNISDR,
terminology: www.unisdr.org/we/inform/
terminology.
364	‘Taiwan’s first solar power prison’,
Taipei Times, 8 February 2017,
www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/
archives/2017/02/08/2003664533.
365	‘Cape Town faces Day Zero’, The Guardian,
3 February 2018, www.theguardian.com/
cities/2018/feb/03/day-zero-cape-townturns-off-taps.
366	Emerald Group Publishing Limited,
Reducing and Managing the risk of Disaster
in Philippine Jails and Prisons, Disaster
Prevention and Management Policy Brief
Series #1, 2016.
367	‘Prison inmate numbers hit all-time high
in New Zealand’, News Hub, 9 February
2018, www.newshub.co.nz/home/newzealand/2018/02/prison-inmate-numbers-hitall-time-high-in-new-zealand.html.
368	United Nations Office for Project Services,
Technical Guidance for Prison Planning,
2016, p35.
369	‘California inmates help battle raging
wildfires’, CNN, 18 October 2017,
cnn.com/2017/10/13/us/california-firesinmate-firefighters/index.html.
370	‘When Disaster Strikes, Inmates Can Move
to the Front Lines of Community Response,
Emergency Management, 25 September
2009, www.govtech.com/em/disaster/
Inmates-Community-Response.html.
371	‘Prison programme milestone celebrated’,
Housing New Zealand, 31 January 2017,
www.hnzc.co.nz/news/latest-news/prisonprogramme-milestone-celebrated/.
372	United Nations Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, Justice and Corrections Update,
Issue 5, December 2017, peacekeeping.
un.org/sites/default/files/justice_and_
corrections_update_-_december_2017.pdf.
373	‘“An incredible transformation”: how
rehab, not prison, worked for a US Isis
convert’, The Guardian, 4 January 2018,
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/
jan/04/american-isis-abdullahi-yousufrehabilatation.
374	Global Counterterrorism Forum, Initiative
to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization
to Violence: Neuchâtel Memorandum
on Good Practices for Juvenile
Justice in a Counterterrorism Context, 2016.
375	Global Center on Cooperative Security
and the International Centre for
Counter-Terrorism, Rehabilitating Juvenile
Violent Extremist Offenders in Detention,
2016; Global Center on Cooperative
Security and International Centre for
Counter-Terrorism, Correcting the Course:
Advancing Juvenile Justice Principles for
Children Convicted of Violent Extremism
Offenses, September 2017.
376	United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime, Handbook on Children Recruited
and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent
Extremist Groups: The Role of the Justice
System, 2017.
377	World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal
Policy Research, www.prisonstudies.org/
highest-to-lowest/occupancy-level?field_
region_taxonomy_tid=All.
378	‘AP Exclusive: Malnutrition
killing inmates in Haiti jails’, AP,
February 2017, www.apnews.com/
a43ce17acfd0425cb2af90a1133a8418.

379	‘17 shot dead in Papua New Guinea prison
breakout’, The Telegraph, 15 May 2017,
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/15/17shot-dead-papua-new-guinea-prisonbreakout/.
380	‘South Sudan prisons grapple with
congestion as judges strike’, African Indy,
29 August 2017, www.africanindy.com/
news/south-sudan-prisons-grapple-withcongestion-as-judges-strike-10989970.
381	World Prison Brief, Institute for Criminal
Policy Research, Cote d’Ivoire,
www.prisonstudies.org/country/cote-divoire.
382	‘Land clashes test Côte d’Ivoire’s
fragile security’, IRIN, 25 October 2017,
www.irinnews.org/news/2017/10/25/landclashes-test-cote-d-ivoire-s-fragile-security.
383	‘Liberia: “Appalling” Prison Conditions
Unearthed’, AllAfrica, 27 April 2017,
allafrica.com/stories/201704270750.html.
384	‘Yemen: UAE Backs Abusive Local Forces’,
Human Rights Watch, 22 June 2017,
www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/22/yemen-uaebacks-abusive-local-forces.
385	Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights,
Voices from the Dark: Torture and Sexual
Violence Against Women in Assad’s
Detention Centres, July 2017.
386	Amnesty International, Human
Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and
Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,
7 February 2017.
387	Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018,
January 2018, p343–352.
388	United Nations Support Mission in
Libya/Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Detained
and Dehumanised – Report on human
rights abuses against migrants in Libya,
13 December 2016.
389	UNICEF, A Deadly Journey for Children:
The Central Mediterranean Migration Route,
February 2017.
390	‘Iraq: Hundreds Detained in Degrading
Conditions’, Human Rights Watch, 13 March
2017, www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/13/iraqhundreds-detained-degrading-conditions.
391	United Nations Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, Justice and Corrections Update,
Issue 5, December 2017, p3, peacekeeping.
un.org/sites/default/files/justice_and_
corrections_update_-_december_2017.pdf.
392	For more information, see ‘PRI signs an
agreement to support demilitarisation
of the prison service in the Central
African Republic’, Penal Reform
International, 5 February 2018,
www.penalreform.org/news/pri-signs-anagreement-for-central-african-republic/.
393	United Nations Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, Justice and Corrections
Update, Issue 5, December 2017, p4,
peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/
justice_and_corrections_update_-_
december_2017.pdf.
394	There is no internationally recognised
definition of corruption, but the UN
Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT)
describes it as being ‘broadly understood
as the dishonest misuse or abuse of a
position of power to secure undue personal
gain or advantage, or to secure undue
gain or advantage for a third party’. See
Committee against Torture, Seventh annual
report of the Subcommittee on Prevention
of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
CAT/C/52/2, 20 March 2014, para. 73.
395	‘9 of 10 inmates in Mexico say they bribed
prison guards’, Associated Press, 2 August
2017, nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/9of-10-inmates-in-mexico-say-they-bribedprison-guards.

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018	

396	‘“Rates” in Armenian Prisons Rising, While
Issues Remain Unresolved, Report Says’,
E-press, 30 October 2017, epress.am/
en/2017/10/30/rates-in-armenian-prisonsrising-while-issues-remain-unresolvedreport-says.html.
397	‘Corruption and Crime Commission
investigation uncovers ease of getting drugs
into WA prisons’, The West Australian,
9 December 2017, thewest.com.au/news/
wa/corruption-and-crime-commissioninvestigation-uncovers-ease-of-gettingdrugs-into-wa-prisons-ng-b88684958z.
398	Committee against Torture, Seventh annual
report of the Subcommittee on Prevention
of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
CAT/C/52/2, 20 March 2014, paras. 84,
85 and 91.
399	Ibid., para. 72.
400	United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures
in Prisons, 2017, p26.
401	‘Correctional Officers to be polygraphed’,
Jamaica Gleaner, 28 February 2017,
jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170228/
correctional-officers-recruits-bepolygraphed-prison-corruption-clampdown.
402	See PRI’s resources on addressing
corruption in prisons and the police in
Kazakhstan, 2018, www.penalreform.org/
resource/briefing-papers-addressingcorruption-in-prisons-and-the.
403	‘Telangana prisons dept to reward Rs 10,000
for info on corruption in jails’, Telangana
Today, 15 February 2018, telanganatoday.
com/telangana-prisons-dept-to-reward-rs10000-for-info-on-corruption-in-jails.
404	The ratification status for OPCAT can
be viewed online: Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, tbinternet.
ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/
Treaty.aspx.
405	The Nelson Mandela Rules, Rule 83.
406	For up-to-date information on designation
of NPMs, see Association for the Prevention
of Torture, OPCAT Database, apt.ch/en/
opcat-database/.
407	‘Argentina: National mechanism to prevent
torture finally established’, 21 December
2017, apt.ch/en/news_on_prevention/
argentina-national-preventive-mechanismfinally-established/.
408	‘Chile takes historic step on National
Preventive Mechanism’, Association for
the Prevention of Torture, 12 June 2017,
apt.ch/en/news_on_prevention/chiletakes-historic-step-on-national-preventivemechanism/.
409	‘Panama’s National Preventive Mechanism
moves towards implementation’, Association
for the Prevention of Torture, 4 May 2017,
apt.ch/en/news_on_prevention/panamamoves-towards-the-implementation-of-thenational-preventive-mechanism/.
410	‘Philippines: Strong government leadership
required to set up National Preventive
Mechanism’, Association for the Prevention
of Torture, 26 November 2017, apt.ch/en/
news_on_prevention/philippines-stronggovernment-leadership-required-to-set-upnational-preventive-mechanism/.
411	Oral statement made by the Association
for the Prevention of Torture at the UN
Human Rights Council, 36th Session,
September 2017, www.apt.ch/content/files/
APTOralStatement_HRC36_BrazilUPR_
EN.pdf.
412	Committee against Torture, Tenth annual
report of the Subcommittee on Prevention
of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
CAT/C/60/3, 3 April 2017.

| 49

ENDNOTES

PART 5
Role and use of technologies
413	‘Turning to telemedicine for prisoners’ mental
health treatment’, Modern Healthcare,
January 2018, www.modernhealthcare.com/
article/20180106/NEWS/180109957.
414	Ibid.
415	‘Romania could introduce electronic
monitoring to reduce prison overcrowding’,
Romania Times, 3 August 2017,
www.romania-insider.com/electronicmonitoring-prison-overcrowding/;
Confederation of European Probation,
‘Electronic monitoring implemented
in Latvia’, 2017, www.cep-probation.org/
knowledgebase/electronic-monitoring/
electronic-monitoring-implemented-latvia/.
416	PRI email communication with Probation
Service of Latvia, 12 February 2018.
417	Pew Charitable Trusts, Use of Electronic
Offender-Tracking Devices Expands Sharply,
September 2016.
418	University of Leeds, Tracking people:
technological and methodological
challenges: Report of event three,
15 June 2017.
419	‘South Korea to use drones to monitor
prison inmates’, Korea Times, 6 June 2017,
www.scmp.com/tech/social-gadgets/
article/2097089/south-korea-use-dronesmonitor-prison-inmates.

420	‘British prison is first to use “disruptor”
to create drone-proof “shield” around
jail’, The Telegraph, 16 May 2017,
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/16/
british-prison-first-use-disruptor-createdrone-proof-shield/.
421	‘New tech to block mobile phones
in Scottish jails’, BBC, 14 November
2017, www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukscotland-41971718.
422	Helen Farley and Anne Pike, ‘Engaging
prisoners in education: Reducing risk and
recidivism’, Advancing Corrections: Journal
of the International Corrections and Prisons
Association, Volume 1, 2016, pp65–73.
423	‘Secure Online Learning now at all prisons’,
National, 4 May 2017, www.national.org.nz/
secure_online_learning_now_at_all_prisons.
424	‘Using VR to teach inmates how to live on
the outside’, VICE, 27 December 2017,
news.vice.com/en_us/article/bjym3w/thisprison-is-using-vr-to-teach-inmates-how-tolive-on-the-outside.
425	EBO Enterprises, PrisonCloud,
www.ebo-enterprises.com/prisoncloud.
426	‘Inmates get mail from home on
tablets’, Straits Times, 3 July 2017,
www.straitstimes.com/singapore/inmatesget-mail-from-home-on-tablets.

427	Cynthia McDougall, Dominic A. S. Pearson,
David J. Torgerson and Maria GarciaReyes, ‘The effect of digital technology
on prisoner behavior and reoffending: a
natural stepped-wedge design’, Journal of
Experimental Criminology, December 2017,
Volume 13, Issue 4, pp455–482.
428	EuroPris, How can ICT make the
offender better prepared for release?,
September 2017.
429	‘Malawi to use the OpenTrial app for
citizens to access the justice system’,
Next Web, 10 May 2017, thenextweb.com/
syndication/2017/05/10/malawi-useopentrial-app-citizens-access-justicesystem/#.tnw_IyuLu0nS.
430	‘China: online courts in judiciary’, Shanghai
Daily, 17 January 2018, www.shine.cn/
archive/metro/Online-courts-in-judiciary/
shdaily.shtml.
431	Information provided by the Thailand
Institute of Justice, February 2018.
432	Emma Rowden, Anne Wallace, David Tait,
Mark Hanson and Diane Jones, Gateways
to Justice: design and operational guidelines
for remote participation in court proceedings,
University of Western Sydney, 2013;
Transform Justice, Defendants on video
– conveyor belt justice or a revolution in
access?, October 2017.

440	Omar Phoenix Khan, ‘Eight things
to remember when implementing
a gender-sensitive approach to
probation’, PRI Blog, 17 July
2017, www.penalreform.org/blog/
eight-things-to-remember-whenimplementing-a-gender/.
441	To download resources and read more
about the project, see www.penalreform.org/
resources/gender-sensitive-approach-tonon-custodial-sentences/.
442	Fergus McNeill and Kristel Beyens,
Offender Supervision in Europe, COST
Action IS1106 Final Report, March
2016, p6, www.cep-probation.org/
wp-content/uploads/Final-Report-COSTAction-IS1106.pdf.
443	Michelle S. Phelps and Caitlin Curry,
Supervision in the Community:
Probation and Parole, April 2017,
criminology.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/
acrefore/9780190264079.001.0001/acrefore9780190264079-e-239?print=pdf.
444	New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics
and Research, Intensive correction orders
versus short prison sentence: A comparison
of re-offending, October 2017.

445	‘Northern Ireland: Keep out of jail order cuts
re-offending rates’, BBC News, 3 August
2017, www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northernireland-40808086.
446	Resolution adopted by the Economic
and Social Council on 6 July 2017,
Promoting and encouraging the
implementation of alternatives to
imprisonment as part of comprehensive
crime prevention and criminal justice
policies, E/RES/2017/19, 18 August 2017.
447	Ibid., Preambular Paragraph 11 and
Operative Paragraph 3.
448	Definition from: United Nations Office on
Drugs and Crime, A summary of comments
received on the use and application of the
Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative
Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters,
22 May 2017, E/CN.15/2017/CRP.1.
449	Ibid.
450	Academy of Criminal Justice Science,
Response to UNODC RE: ECOSOC
resolution 2016/17 of 26 July 2016,
Response to the UNODC’s letter for
comments dated February 2017.

PART 6:
Alternatives to imprisonment
433	World Prison Brief, Institute for
Criminal Policy Research, Cambodia,
www.prisonstudies.org/country/cambodia.
434	‘2017 in review: Cambodia’s tumultuous
year’, The Phnom Penh Post, 26 February
2018, www.phnompenhpost.com/nationalpost-depth/2017-review-cambodiastumultuous-year.
435	‘Rwanda: More Convicts to Be Introduced
to Community Service Programme’,
AllAfrica, 9 June 2017, allafrica.com/
stories/201706090130.html.
436	‘40 Per cent of Moroccan Inmates Held
in Pre-Trial Detention’, Morocco News,
14 February 2018, www.moroccoworldnews.
com/2018/02/240616/40-percent-moroccaninmates-held-pre-trial-detention/.
437	‘Drop in number of people jailed for not
paying fines’, The Irish Times, 15 May 2017,
www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/
drop-in-number-of-people-jailed-for-notpaying-fines-1.3084187.
438	Columbia University Justice Lab, Too big
to succeed: The impact of the growth of
community corrections and what should
be done about it, 29 January 2018.
439	Ibid., p2.

50 |	

Penal Reform International and Thailand Institute of Justice | Global Prison Trends 2018

Penal Reform International
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