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Prison Reforms in Resource Poor Settings - South Asia Experience ICPA Conference Prague, 28 October 2008 Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert UNODC Regional.

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Presentation on theme: "Prison Reforms in Resource Poor Settings - South Asia Experience ICPA Conference Prague, 28 October 2008 Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert UNODC Regional."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prison Reforms in Resource Poor Settings - South Asia Experience ICPA Conference Prague, 28 October 2008 Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert UNODC Regional office for South Asia

2 Realities on the ground 1.Over-crowdingOver-crowding 2.Majority are remand prisonersremand prisoners 3.High prisoner turnover 4.Low civil society participation in prison reforms 5.‘We’ and ‘Them’ Divide 6.Protection mechanisms for the weak and vulnerable inadequate 7.Constraints - human and financial resources 8.Low awareness - drugs and HIV Denial – “no sex, no drug, no violence” Sexual risk behaviour – MSM, coercion Large number of married inmates 9.Post release follow up of prisoners is very negligible

3 Prison reforms: key elements  Application of Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners- A Human Rights perspective  Advocate for and create awareness to ensure that adjustment of laws and policies should be in conformity with international standards and norms on diversions, restorative justice and non-custodial sanctions  Reduce prison overcrowding  Expedite disposal of cases  Alternate sentencing

4 Prison reforms: key elements  Capacity of Member States to apply international standards on the professional management/operation of prisons  Increased application by Member States of strategies to improve overall healthcare of prisoners including the reduction of the spread of drugs/HIV in Prisons of South Asia  Sensitization and capacity building of law enforcement officialscapacity building

5 Prevention of drugs and HIV in prisons of South Asia (Project RAS/H71) Prison Intervention sites CountryNo. of sites Bangladesh Bhutan 2121 India 4 Maldives 1 Nepal 5 Sri Lanka 14 Total 27 Disclaimer: The boundaries do not reflect the official position of UNODC

6 Our Response Advocacy Sensitization and training at 3 levels Policy makers, senior Government and civil society partners Middle level Government and civil society partners Field level prison officials and prison inmates Select prison inmates as ‘peers’ to deliver key messages and training to their peers Roll out of interventions (including gender sensitive programming)gender sensitive programming

7 The approach Creating avenues for safer practices - build trustsafer practices Incremental steps Use of existing provisions within the laws, regulations and the socio-cultural milieu Inclusive approach - drug using and non drug using populations (men and women prisoners)women prisoners Pave way for launching prison reform initiatives in resource poor settingsprison reformresource poor settings

8 Coverage 28 Master Trainers Bangladesh - 4 India - 9 Sri Lanka - 8 Maldives - 3 Nepal National Trainers 5,400 prison inmates trained 27,000 prison inmate beneficiaries

9 More opportunities for scaling up (e.g., Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh) Capacity of Governments and civil society partners strengthened A critical mass of human resources trained and active Demand for newer elements of prison reforms created Major achievements

10 Advocacy Breaking Denial Training & Sensitization Peer networking & peer led intervention- involving Prison staff, inmates, NGOs Building partnerships- prison officials, civil society, prisoners Breaking the “Us” and “Them” Divide Hand Holding for launching newer prison reforms initiatives

11 This is just the beginning… please visit us at:

12 UNODC Tools

13 Source: International Centre for Prison Studies, London, 2008 CountriesRemand prisoners and/or pre-trial detainees as % of all prisoners BhutanNA India65.7 Bangladesh69 Sri Lanka49.4 Nepal51 MaldivesNA

14 Source: International Centre for Prison Studies, London, 2008 CountriesCapacityActual population Occupancy level % India263,911373, BhutanNA Bangladesh27,45183, Sri Lanka10,69225, Nepal5,0006, Maldives

15 The gender dimension HIV/AIDS Interventions for Female Injecting Drug Users (FIDU) and Female prisoners in Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan Assessment of risk behaviours of female injecting drug users in prisons To increase access to medical/ health services for female injecting drug users To reduce unsafe injecting through peer involvement To create a de-stigmatising and enabling environment for women

16 Comprehensive Packages * 1.Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSP) 2.Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) 3.Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT) 4.Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) 5.Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) prevention 6.Condom programming for IDUs and partners 7.Targeted Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for IDUs and their sexual partners 8.Hepatitis diagnosis, treatment (Hepatitis A, B and C) and vaccination (Hepatitis A and B) 9.Tuberculosis (TB) prevention, diagnosis and treatment. * UNAIDS, UNODC & WHO

17 Monitoring Mechanism Peer Group –A Peer Training B A Peer Monitoring B A Peer Assembly B A Chief Peer Patron (Superintendent) Peer Volunteer Peer Deputy Chief Peer Patron (Deputy Superintendent / Chief Jailor) Peer Patron (Head warder / Overseer) NGO Welfare Officer Coordinator Peer Patron (A. S. / Jailor)

18 Resource poor settings Decongest prisons –Decriminalise petty offences –More alternate sentencing measures –Community sentencing –Change of laws Use of existing human resource for multi tasking Use of prisoner resources for prisoner welfare measures Cost effective interventions Effective civil society partnership

19 1.Stereotyped gender relationships – Unequal power balance in relationships. 2.Marginalization by society – Strong feelings of powerlessness, low self esteem and self confidence. 3.Lack of family support, social networks & financial services. 4.Lack of gender sensitive services, including lack of trained female service providers with appropriate skills. 5.Lack of Information and access to health services, including HIV/AIDS prevention & care programmes. 6.Special needs of women prisoners with children 7.Stigma & discrimination. Addressing gender concerns


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