Wednesday 18 July saw the launch of the 3rd edition of A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management: Handbook for Prison Staff, co-authored by Professor Andrew Coyle, Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies at the University of London, and Helen Fair, Research Fellow at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) at Birkbeck.
The Handbook is based on the internationally agreed standards for the use of imprisonment and conditions of detention and it provides guidance for prison staff as to their implementation. It demonstrates that as well as providing an appropriate framework for the management of prisons, the international standards can be very effective in operational terms. It provides a basis for good prison management which can be applied in every prison system in the world.
The 3rd edition has been updated to take account of a number of new international and regional standards, including the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and the Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) as well as developing case law concerning the use of imprisonment.
Previous editions of the Handbook (published in 2002 and 2009) have been translated into 19 languages and over 80,000 copies have been distributed around the world to intergovernmental agencies, national prison administrations and non -governmental organisations.
This 3rd edition is published by ICPR in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It was launched at an event in the ICRC headquarters in Geneva to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
Speaking in Geneva Professor Coyle said:
“It is important to demonstrate that an observance of universal human rights standards is more necessary than ever in an insecure and uncertain world. This is necessary to protect those who, in whatever circumstances, are deprived of their liberty; it provides an ethical context for all of those whose task on behalf of society is to deprive people of their liberty; and it is important as a reminder for everyone who lives in a democratic society of what it is that provides the foundation of democracy and freedom.”
The Handbook can be downloaded here