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Abstract from

Comparative Experiences of Implementing Human Rights in Closed Environments: Monitoring for Rights Protection

Anne Owers was Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales from 2001 to 2010, carrying out independent inspection of prisons, immigration detention centres, police and military custody, and coordinating the UK’s National Preventive Mechanism under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

This article articulates five components for implementing human rights in closed environments – namely 1) courts, 2) independent complaints investigation, 3) independent inspection, 4) independent citizen volunteer bodies and 5) operational management of the detention system – then focuses attention on the third and fifth elements. The article critically analyses the healthy prison standards (the four elements of which are safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement), which is the methodology adopted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales for prison inspection, and one that has been adapted for use more widely in other closed environments (such as, immigration detention).

(2014) Vol 31 Law in Context p209

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