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Prison Reforms in Resource Poor Settings - South Asia Experience. Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert UNODC Regional office for South Asia. ICPA Conference Prague, 28 October 2008. Realities on the ground. Over-crowding Majority are remand prisoners High prisoner turnover

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Prison reforms in resource poor settings south asia experience l.jpg

Prison Reforms in Resource Poor Settings- South Asia Experience

Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert

UNODC

Regional office for South Asia

ICPA Conference

Prague, 28 October 2008


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Realities on the ground

  • Over-crowding

  • Majority are remand prisoners

  • High prisoner turnover

  • Low civil society participation in prison reforms

  • ‘We’ and ‘Them’ Divide

  • Protection mechanisms for the weak and vulnerable inadequate

  • Constraints - human and financial resources

  • Low awareness - drugs and HIV

    • Denial – “no sex, no drug, no violence”

    • Sexual risk behaviour – MSM, coercion

    • Large number of married inmates

  • Post release follow up of prisoners is very negligible


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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


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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 officials


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Prevention of drugs and HIV in prisons of South Asia (Project RAS/H71)

Prison Intervention sites

Disclaimer: The boundaries do not reflect the official position of UNODC


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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)


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    The approach

    • Creating avenues for safer practices - build trust

    • 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)

    • Pave way for launching prison reform initiatives in resource poor settings


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    Bangladesh - 4

    Sri Lanka - 8

    Maldives - 3

    Nepal - 4

    India - 9

    418 National Trainers

    5,400 prison inmates trained

    27,000 prison inmate beneficiaries

    28 Master Trainers

    Coverage


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    Major achievements

    • 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


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    Hand Holding for launching newer prison reforms initiatives

    Peer

    networking &

    peer led intervention- involving

    Prison staff, inmates, NGOs

    Breaking the “Us”

    and “Them” Divide

    Building partnerships-

    prison officials, civil society,

    prisoners

    Training &

    Sensitization

    Breaking

    Denial

    Advocacy


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    This is just the beginning…

    please visit us at:

    www.unodc.org/india


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    UNODC Tools


    Slide13 l.jpg

    Source: International Centre for Prison Studies, London, 2008


    Slide14 l.jpg

    Source: International Centre for Prison Studies, London, 2008


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    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


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    Comprehensive Packages *

    • Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSP)

    • Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST)

    • Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT)

    • Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)

    • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) prevention

    • Condom programming for IDUs and partners

    • Targeted Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for IDUs and their sexual partners

    • Hepatitis diagnosis, treatment (Hepatitis A, B and C) and vaccination (Hepatitis A and B)

    • Tuberculosis (TB) prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

    * UNAIDS, UNODC & WHO


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    Chief Peer Patron (Superintendent)

    Deputy Chief Peer Patron (Deputy Superintendent / Chief Jailor)

    Peer Monitoring

    NGO

    Coordinator Peer Patron (A. S. / Jailor)

    Welfare Officer

    Peer Patron (Head warder / Overseer)

    Peer Volunteer

    Peer Assembly

    A

    A

    A

    B

    B

    B

    Peer

    Peer Training

    Peer Group –A

    Monitoring Mechanism


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    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


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    Addressing gender concerns

    • Stereotyped gender relationships – Unequal power balance in relationships.

    • Marginalization by society – Strong feelings of powerlessness, low self esteem and self confidence.

    • Lack of family support, social networks & financial services.

    • Lack of gender sensitive services, including lack of trained female service providers with appropriate skills.

    • Lack of Information and access to health services, including HIV/AIDS prevention & care programmes.

    • Special needs of women prisoners with children

    • Stigma & discrimination.


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