Most prisoners with special needs face discrimination in the criminal justice system, on the basis of their birth, nationality, ethnicity, race, descent, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, and health condition.
Any person who is deprived of liberty as a consequence of conviction is vulnerable to a certain degree. Often the abuse of power is widespread in correctional settings, especially when it takes place in an environment that tends to be closed to public scrutiny,. Even where no abuse exists, prison conditions themselves in many jurisdictions are harmful to the physical and mental well-being of inmates. Therefore, there’s a range of international and regional instruments to ensure that the fundamental human rights of prisoners are protected.
There are certain groups that are in a particularly vulnerable position in prisons and who need additional care and protection, namely juveniles, the disabled and mentally ill, older prisoners, women, foreign nationals, minorities and those struggling with gender issues. The high proportion of prisoners with special needs means that this is a matter that definitely deserves special addressing by prison management policies.
Hence, we develop and implement an array of services aimed at streamlining the effectiveness and compliance of correctional systems as far as special needs are concerned, so that inmates with special needs are treated in accordance with the requirements of international human rights standards, while their prospects of social reintegration are enhanced.
Regarding the special needs of prisoners, at IPS we support:
- the development of new policies and procedures;
- the adjustment of justice systems though the necessary restructuring;
- strategic planning and practices deployment on supervision, care and protection mechanisms.