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«Annex United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules) Preliminary observations Preliminary observation 1 The ...»



United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment

of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)

Preliminary observations

Preliminary observation 1

The following rules are not intended to describe in detail a model system of penal

institutions. They seek only, on the basis of the general consensus of contemporary

thought and the essential elements of the most adequate systems of today, to set out

what is generally accepted as being good principles and practice in the treatment of prisoners and prison management.

Preliminary observation 2

1. In view of the great variety of legal, social, economic and geographical conditions in the world, it is evident that not all of the rules are capable of application in all places and at all times. They should, however, serve to stimulate a constant endeavour to overcome practical difficulties in the way of their application, in the knowledge that they represent, as a whole, the minimum conditions which are accepted as suitable by the United Nations.

2. On the other hand, the rules cover a field in which thought is constantly developing. They are not intended to preclude experiment and practices, provided these are in harmony with the principles and seek to further the purposes which derive from the text of the rules as a whole. It will always be justifiable for the central prison administration to authorize departures from the rules in this spirit.

Preliminary observation 3

1. Part I of the rules covers the general management of prisons, and is applicable to all categories of prisoners, criminal or civil, untried or convicted, including prisoners subject to “security measures” or corrective measures ordered by the judge.

2. Part II contains rules applicable only to the special categories dealt with in each section. Nevertheless, the rules under section A, applicable to prisoners under sentence, shall be equally applicable to categories of prisoners dealt with in sections B, C and D, provided they do not conflict with the rules governing those categories and are for their benefit.

Preliminary observation 4

1. The rules do not seek to regulate the management of institutions set aside for young persons such as juvenile detention facilities or correctional schools, but in general part I would be equally applicable in such institutions.

2. The category of young prisoners should include at least al

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V.15-03585 E/CN.15/2015/L.6/Rev.1

2. Prison administrations shall make all reasonable accommodation and adjustments to ensure that prisoners with physical, mental or other disabilities have full and effective access to prison life on an equitable basis.

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Rule 9 All records referred to in rules 7 and 8 shall be kept confidential and made available only to those whose professional responsibilities require access to such records.

Every prisoner shall be granted access to the records pertaining to him or her, subject to redactions authorized under domestic legislation, and shall be entitled to receive an official copy of such records upon his or her release.

Rule 10 Prisoner file management systems shall also be used to generate reliable data about trends relating to and characteristics of the prison population, including occupancy rates, in order to create a basis for evidence-based decision-making.

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Rule 25

1. Every prison shall have in place a health-care service tasked with evaluating, promoting, protecting and improving the physical and mental health of prisoners, paying particular attention to prisoners with special health-care needs or with health issues that hamper their rehabilitation.

2. The health-care service shall consist of an interdisciplinary team with sufficient qualified personnel acting in full clinical independence and shall V.15-03585 E/CN.15/2015/L.6/Rev.1 encompass sufficient expertise in psychology and psychiatry. The services of a qualified dentist shall be available to every prisoner.

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Rule 31 The physician or, where applicable, other qualified health-care professionals shall have daily access to all sick prisoners, all prisoners who complain of physical or mental health issues or injury and any prisoner to whom their attention is specially directed. All medical examinations shall be undertaken in full confidentiality.

Rule 32

1. The relationship between the physician or other health-care professionals and the prisoners shall be governed by the same ethical and professional standards as

those applicable to patients in the community, in particular:

(a) The duty of protecting prisoners’ physical and mental health and the prevention and treatment of disease on the basis of clinical grounds only;

(b) Adherence to prisoners’ autonomy with regard to their own health and informed consent in the doctor-patient relationship;

(c) The confidentiality of medical information, unless maintaining such confidentiality would result in a real and imminent threat to the patient or to others;

(d) An absolute prohibition on engaging, actively or passively, in acts that may constitute torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including medical or scientific experimentation that may be detrimental to a prisoner’s health, such as the removal of a prisoner’s cells, body tissues or organs.

2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1 (d) of this rule, prisoners may be allowed, upon their free and informed consent and in accordance with applicable law, to participate in clinical trials and other health research accessible in the community if these are expected to produce a direct and significant benefit to their health, and to donate cells, body tissues or organs to a relative.

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Rule 38

1. Prison administrations are encouraged to use, to the extent possible, conflict prevention, mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution mechanism to prevent disciplinary offences or to resolve conflicts.

2. For prisoners who are, or have been, separated, the prison administration shall take the necessary measures to alleviate the potential detrimental effects of their confinement on them and on their community following their release from prison.

Rule 39

1. No prisoner shall be sanctioned except in accordance with the terms of the law or regulation referred to in rule 37 and the principles of fairness and due process.

A prisoner shall never be punished twice for the same offence.

2. Prison administrations shall ensure proportionality between a disciplinary sanction and the offence for which it is established, and shall keep a proper record of all disciplinary sanctions imposed.

3. Before imposing disciplinary sanctions, prison administrations shall consider whether and how a prisoner’s mental illness or developmental disability may have contributed to his or her conduct and the commitment of the offence or act underlying the disciplinary charge. Prison administrations shall not sanction any conduct of a prisoner that is considered to be the direct result of his or her mental illness or intellectual disability.

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Rule 63 Prisoners shall be kept informed regularly of the more important items of news by the reading of newspapers, periodicals or special institutional publications, by hearing wireless transmissions, by lectures or by any similar means as authorized or controlled by the prison administration.

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Investigations Rule 71

1. Notwithstanding the initiation of an internal investigation, the prison director shall report, without delay, any custodial death, disappearance or serious injury to a judicial or other competent authority that is independent of the prison administration and mandated to conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into the circumstances and causes of such cases. The prison administration shall fully cooperate with that authority and ensure that all evidence is preserved.

2. The obligation in paragraph 1 of this rule shall equally apply whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been committed in prison, irrespective of whether a formal complaint has been received.

3. Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an act referred to in paragraph 2 of this rule has been committed, steps shall be taken immediately to ensure that all potentially implicated persons have no involvement in the investigation and no contact with the witnesses, the victim or the victim’s family.

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Rule 78

1. So far as possible, prison staff shall include a sufficient number of specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, teachers and trade instructors.

2. The services of social workers, teachers and trade instructors shall be secured on a permanent basis, without thereby excluding part-time or voluntary workers.

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