Source: (2002) Published in relation with the Pan-African Conference on Penal and Prison Reform in Africa, Burkina Faso, and Penal Reform International.
This work attempts to outline different mechanisms that have recently been put
in place in recognition and protection of prisoners’ rights in some African
countries. These initiatives range from international instruments and regional
measures, national mechanisms such as constitutional provisions, the
establishment of offices of the ombudsmen, to favourable correctional services’
legislation. How courts have been called upon to intervene in the protection of
prisoners’ rights in different countries in the region will also be examined.
What emerges from both legal instruments and court decisions is that the way
in which prison authorities and staff handle inmates under their care has come
under strict scrutiny in recognition of inmates’ rights. What this means in practical terms is that prison officers not only have to be increasingly aware of and sensitive to prisoners’ rights, they also have to change their working practices to conform with these important individual rights and freedoms. These are the challenges facing prison authorities and personnel in the new millennium. (excerpt)
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