Over the last week PRI and the Penal Reform and Justice Association (PRAJA) have been running a series of training of trainer workshops high-level seminars for prison officials highlighting the need for professionalisation of the prison service and wider penal and criminal justice reform in India.
On the 22nd February, PRI will hold a high-level national seminar on priorities for penal reform, hosted by the National Law University, Delhi. The seminar will discuss the PRI/PRAJA paper – Imprisonment as a punishment: outlook for the 21st century in India – and make recommendations for reform. Speakers at the event include Justice Imman Ali, Judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and PRI Board Member, discussing regional priorities for reform, Mr John Podmore (PRI Associate) and Dr Riaz Ahmed (Director of the Academy of Prisons and Correctional Administration in Vellore – APCA), exploring best ways to professionalise the prison service, and doctors from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences discussing the importance of mental health provision in prison.
The seminar follows two training of trainers workshops. The first took place in Chandigarh on 10-14 February and the second in Delhi, hosted by the National Law University from 18-21 February. The training sessions on human rights and prison management were aimed at prison officials, including superintendents and deputy inspector-generals of the northern and western Indian states. The training was conducted by Dr Riaz Ahmed, Dr Rani Shankardass, Secretary General of PRAJA, and John Podmore.
These training sessions are part of a programme of work in India on promoting penal reform, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and build on a training course and seminar in Kolkata in December last year.
The training course, developed by PRI, PRAJA and APCA for the Indian context covers international standards and norms, principles of prison management, physical, procedural and dynamic security, ways to reduce pre-trial detention, healthcare in prisons, oversight of detention facilities, treatment of vulnerable groups and reintegration as well as discussing some new and emerging issues.
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