Bangkok Rules E-Bulletin Women in the Criminal Justice System
Welcome to Penal Reform International's quarterly Bangkok Rules E-Bulletin, a round-up of news and developments from PRI and others around the world on women in detention, and the implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules. The views expressed in the news items are not necessarily those of PRI.
The UN Bangkok Rules are a set of standards adopted by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2010, which supplement existing standards for the treatment of prisoners by addressing the specific needs of women in the criminal justice system. For more information on the Rules see PRI's short guide on the Rules.
This new briefing outlines lessons and recommendations on designing and implementing community service and probation for women, in line with the UN Bangkok Rules. It draws on research from Kenya and other studies on women in the criminal justice system and is published within a project funded by the Thailand Institute of Justice.
Linda McFarlane and Jesse Lerner-Kinglake of Just Detention Internationaldescribe the effects of PREA, the practices and management issues that may make abuse more likely and the policy and culture change needed to eliminate it.
In an interview with Mr Denyys M. Odhiambo, a human rights officer and trainer with the Kenyan Prison Service, PRI asked about his experiences in providing training on the UN Bangkok Rules to his colleagues in Kenya.
Laura Abbott, senior lecturer in midwifery at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, introduces the early findings from her doctorate study on what it is like to be pregnant in prison and the quality of pre- and post-natal provision for women in English prisons. She also notes some emerging good practice, including a new Birth Charter for pregnant women in prison which sets out recommendations for treatment and services.
Mothers in Prison, by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times highlights the increasing incarceration of women in prison and their stories. The article also discusses one potential alternative to imprisonment, a model program in Tulsa called Women in Recovery which works with both the women and their children. The program has shown positive results with recidivism rates at just 4.9 per cent over the three years after programme completion.
Thailand is introducing full-body scanning technology for searching female prisoners following complaints over human rights violations during physical body searches. This new practice is in line with Rule 20 of the Bangkok Rules, which encourages alternative screening methods, such as scans, to replace strip searches and invasive body searches, in order to avoid the harmful psychological and physical impact of invasive body searches.
This Eurasian Harm Reduction Network resource is primarily tailored to the needs of women who use drugs and is targeted at this particular focus group. The tool is also intended to help those who work with communities of people who use drugs, including social workers, health care professionals, and providers of harm reduction services as an advocacy tool for fairer drug policies.
The updated app covers 146 keywords – including on detention and criminal justice - and has easy access to relevant international and regional legal instruments as well as agreed language contained in 250 UN documents on women’s human rights and gender equality.
Bound is the first radio drama to be broadcast on the UK National Prison Radio. The original script was inspired by women prisoners' workshops. The prison scenes were recorded on location at HMP Styal, a women's prison near Manchester, and the supporting cast and crew includes women serving sentences in Styal.
Do you have new publications or resources to share on women and criminal justice?
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