Blog

A short prison sentence, a fine, or life imprisonment – all for the same offence: Exploring sentence disparities in ten countries

Sentencing people who are convicted of a criminal offence is complex business. The sentencing policy and practice of any given country has a significant impact on prison population and overcrowding rates, and is closely linked with the ability to provide safe, humane prison conditions in line with international standards like the UN Nelson Mandela Rules. […]

Catherine Heard5th August 2020

‘Imprisonment is expensive’ – breaking down the costs and impacts globally

In the third blog of our series exploring trends documented in Global Prison Trends 2020, Jeanne Hirschberger – researcher for the report – explains prison budgets. Jeanne details the levels of inadequate resourcing for prisons globally and the impact of this on the human rights of those detained. Massive overcrowding, lack of access to healthcare, […]

Jeanne Hirschberger24th July 2020

Robots, scanners and thermal cameras: technologies in prisons and the coronavirus pandemic

In recent decades technological innovation has provided many opportunities for supporting prison management and the rehabilitation of people in prison. As documented in Global Prison Trends 2020, video visitation systems, remote court hearings and electronic file management systems are well established in some and becoming more common in some regions’ prisons, namely in Europe, North […]

Benny Goedbloed17th July 2020

Separation and solitary confinement in the revised 2020 European Prison Rules – First thoughts

The European Prison Rules (and their Commentary) were recently revised by the Council of Europe. The most notable changes arguably concern the rules guiding prison authorities on the separation and solitary confinement of prisoners. This comes at a time where separation has become more commonplace with COVID-19 restrictions in place. The practice of solitary confinement […]

Dirk van Zyl Smit10th July 2020

How COVID-19 has exacerbated problems created by excessive use of pre-trial detention

In this expert blog, the President of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, Joel Hernández, writes about alternatives to pre-trial detention in the Americas where the number of people held in remand are excessively high. Commissioner Hernández calls for the use of alternatives as an urgent measure to protect human rights – during the COVID-19 […]

Joel Hernández García15th June 2020

Coronavirus and women in detention: A gender-specific approach missing

En español. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a whole host of responses by prisons and wider justice systems, but the plight of women has been neglected or overtly disregarded. Without a gender-specific assessment and response to coronavirus, lives of women in criminal justice systems are at risk and human rights violations will continue.  This expert […]

Olivia Rope4th June 2020

Protecting human rights in COVID-19: Detention Monitoring in Georgia

In this external expert blog for PRI, Giorgi Burjanadze, Deputy Ombudsperson in Georgia and member of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) mandated to conduct the monitoring of detention facilities, shares how they adapted its methodology to continue its critical work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Giorgi Burjanadze1st June 2020