Since 2006 ICPS has had contact with the National Prison Administration Bureau in the Ministry of Justice in China and a number of the provincial prison administrations. Since 2009, with funding from the Human Rights and Democracy Programme of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, these links have been formalised through a project in partnership with the Chinese prison authorities to increase their capability to manage prisons in accordance with international standards.
In each year of the project there have been three major activities involving ICPS, the National Prison Administration Bureau and up to three provinces on a rolling basis.
- During the first of the annual activities ICPS consultants have gone to each of the selected provinces to visit prisons and to lead workshops on specific prison management themes as agreed in advance.
- The Chinese partners have then visited the United Kingdom to observe how the chosen themes are managed in prisons in England. It is not suggested that this model meets all international standards but it provides a comparator. The visit to the UK will include seminars at ICPS and elsewhere.
- The main output of the third annual activity is a seminar in China attended by all those who have been involved as well as a wide ranging representation from other provinces to discuss what has been learned and how change can be implemented in China.
In the course of the current year the main themes being examined are the management of women prisoners and of high security prisoners.