COMPLAINT PRISON PROCEDURES VIOLENCE What standards are important to prevent violence? Prison violence is the use of force or power to cause any kind of harm or injury. It can be used by staff against prisoners or the other way around by prisoners against staff as well as between prisoners or by prisoners against themselves. Additional international standards require: -Good living conditions for prisoners, especially with regard to accommodation, purposeful activities outside their cells and reha- To prevent violence in prison, it is important to acknowledge that bilitation there are both direct and indirect forms of violence. Direct violence -An appropriate number of prison staff as well as good working can, for example, also be caused by structural or cultural violence, conditions and training opportunities which are indirect and therefore less visible forms of abuse. -Accountability and protection of victims of violence, including systematic medical examinations, recordings and documentation, Types of prison violence 1. Direct violence: is the use of physical force or psychological abuse and threats 2. Structural violence: is linked to inadequate conditions of detention, discrimination or the denial of care Overcrowding; Dis- 3. an effective complaint mechanism, independent investigations, Examples: Culture of Humiliation;Sexual or gender- criminatory rules; Not enough against based purposeful activities or social gestures or language to make contact others feel and appear unworthy Threats of violence us’; Using monitoring prison violence and its risk factors. What should prison staff and administrations consider? 1. How do you solve violent conflicts when they occur in your prison? 2. Do you put in place measures to prevent conflicts before they -UNCAT, Arts 1, 2 & 16 Violence (or any infliction of severe pain or suffering) may amount to a -ECHR – Art 3 violation of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading -EU Charter – Art 4 treatment or punishment. This may be the case for example: of Force and Firearms line with the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and precaution -UN Mandela Rules, R 82 -If force is used by prison staff against prisoners to extract a confession, -CoE, European Prison Rules. R punish, intimidate, or discrimination 3. 4. -Using conflict prevention, mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution mechanism to prevent conflicts and provide appropriate training to staff on such techniques -Paying particular attention to the relationship between prison staff and the prisoners under their care Key standards -UN Mandela Rules, R 76 -CoE, European Prison Rules, R 51 -CoE, Rec CM/Rec(2012)12 on foreign prisoners R 32 -CoE, Guidelines on radicalisation & extremism,29 (e.g. human rights, the treatment of persons in a vulnerable situauthority and force, dynamic security, balancing security mea- -UNODC, Handbook on Dynamic Security -CoE, Manual on Dynamic Security Crew, -Liebling, Hulley, Heavy–light, absent present: rethinking the weight of imprisonment ‘weight’ of imprisonment -APT/PRI, Balancing security and Dignity in Prisons sures, suicide prevention, mental health)? 5. What standards are important to prevent violence? International standards allow the use of force by law enforcement in prison only as a last resort and if not excessive. Prison administrations and staff should prevent conflicts before they escalate and apply the principles of dynamic security by: Do you receive appropriate training about violence reduction? ation, conflict resolution, prevention and mediation skills, use of 64ff Additional resources Is the prison sufficiently staffed (staff/prisoner ratio; number of psycho-social staff members etc.)? -If the State fails to exercise due diligence in preventing and protecting -UNCAT, General Comment No. 2 prisoners from inter-prisoner violence escalate, e.g. conflict prevention, mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution mechanism? -UN Basic Principles on the Use -If the use of force by prison staff against prisoners is excessive, that is not in Rights -CPT Standards -FRA Database on detention and examine factors that contribute to its occurrence. They can therefore play an important role in symbols, Key standards -The Istanbul Protocol -ECtHR, Guide on Prisoners’ against Torture (OPCAT), are mandated to visit places of detention to prevent torture and ill-treatment What do international standards say? When does violence amount to torture or other forms of ill-treatment? -UN Mandela Rules & Guidance Document by ODIHR/PRI National Preventive Mechanisms, established under the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention ‘them Examples: violence; protection against reprisals and respect for victims’ rights Cultural violence: is based on social norms that justify or legitimise direct or structural violence Examples: Beatings; Bullying; Key standards & resources -European Prison Rules & Commentary -An individualised risk and needs assessments for all prisoners Is the prison environment safe and decent? How are the current living conditions for prisoners (especially with regard to accommodation, purposeful activities outside the cells and rehabilitation)? 6. Are prisoners treated fairly and with respect? Do they treat you with respect in return? 7. Do you have a close and good relationship with prisoners? Are you supportive of prisoners’ needs whenever possible To find out more about prison violence consult our Handbook: “Monitoring Prison Violence: A Handbook for National Preventive Mechanisms” For further information on other thematic issues, please refer to our publications on: Solitary confinement, Persons in a situation of vulnerability, Complaint procedures

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