Download Human Rights in African Prisons (Research in International by Jeremy Sarkin PDF

By Jeremy Sarkin

Written by a collection of eminent researchers, this study takes a close examine African prisons, and examines how local and overseas felony tools have handled human rights issues equivalent to overcrowding, wellbeing and fitness care, pretrial detention, and the therapy of ladies and kids. offering concrete examples in addition to conception, it analyzes human rights wishes, advancements, and guidelines, and makes concepts as to how events could be stronger.

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Example text

The worldwide tendency towards greater austerity in the criminal justice system, and specifically the ‘war on terror’, is having a pervasive influence on prison policy in many countries. Overcrowding is still a major issue in Africa. Prisoners across the continent, already deprived of their liberty, suffer the degradation and inhumanity of being crammed into overcrowded cells. In places the increasing incarceration rates and longer 37 h u m a n r i g h ts i n a f r i c a n p r i s o n s prison terms have decreased the inmate turnover rate, leading to overcrowding.

A number of African countries are taking steps to deal with overcrowding. At one level there are attempts to reform the law to address its inadequacies; at another level specific steps have been taken to address the inmate numbers in prisons. Kenya reduced its prison population by 8 000 in July 2006 by releasing prisoners. Yet with 50 000 prisoners housed in a prison system designed for 16 000, the system is still grossly overcrowded. In a bid to curb overcrowding Nigeria released 25 000 prisoners in January 2006.

Various mechanisms, such as adequate training and education; increased staff numbers; team-building exercises to create a sense of camaraderie; increased pay and benefits; adequate supervision, directives and discipline, and well-defined career paths are instruments that could lead to more effective prison governance and a higher regard for the human rights of those detained. za One of the major impediments to effective prison governance is the overwhelming number of inmates crowded into institutions that are far above capacity and that do not have sufficient resources to deal with them.

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