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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 Goedbloed 17th July 2020


People in detention are forgotten or ignored in COVID-19 responses, says new PRI briefing

A new briefing, Coronavirus: Preventing harm and human rights violations in criminal justice systems, highlights the impact of responses to COVID-19 on people in detention – amounting to 11 million people – who have been left behind, ignored or forgotten. Penal Reform International exposes a lack of systematic testing and data collection in prisons across the globe, which means unknown numbers of people in detention and staff are falling ill and dying […]

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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 Smit 10th July 2020