Blog

“A crisis within a crisis” – Prison, Violence, and Social Protest in Times of the Pandemic in Colombia

In Colombia, the concoction of high levels of prison overcrowding, inadequate healthcare and lack of basic provisions such as water has led to violence and unrest during the coronavirus pandemic. In this blog, partners at Dejusticia, explain how the government has not only failed to protect people in prison from the coronavirus, but responded to […]

Sofía Forero Alba; Juan Sebastián Hernández13th 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

If anything, this pandemic has clearly demonstrated the urgent need for reform

In this expert blog for PRI, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris says COVID-19 has exposed the urgent need for long-term societal and institutional reform and that human rights must be front and centre of the global response to the pandemic. This blog draws on the remarks made by the Assistant-Secretary General at the launch of Global Prison Trends 2020. 

Ilze Brands Kehris11th May 2020

Less lethal equipment used in places of detention

The usage and types of equipment in prisons and other places of detention is wide ranging and varies from country to country. In this blog, the Omega Research Foundation reflects on the growth of less lethal weapons available to officers and ongoing efforts for transparency. In recent years there has been a growth in the […]

The Omega Research Foundation18th March 2020

We are 30: Looking forward to the next decade

“It all started with a meeting…” 30 years ago, Vivien Stern, Ahmed Othmani and Hans Tulkens created Penal Reform International. They had in common the belief we still cherish, as stated by Nelson Mandela: “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails”. In other words, the health of criminal justice […]

Florian Irminger21st November 2019