‘All prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings’.
Nelson Mandela Rules of General Application, Rule 1
The work of the IMB in adopting the principles of the Mandela rules is recognised alongside other UK NPM members as part of Nelson Mandela International Day (or Prisoner Rights Day).
The crucial role of the IMB has been highlighted today by APT (Association for the Prevention of Torture) in their online blog:
‘The Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) (volunteer visiting bodies attached to all prisons in England and Wales) recently published its first National Monitoring Framework, which was informed by the Nelson Mandela Rules.
Importantly, the IMBs attend segregation reviews on a regular basis, and can raise immediate concerns if they believe a prisoner’s segregation is not fair or humane. IMBs often identify concerns about the regime in segregation units, which as a result of staffing constraints can mean prisoners don’t get showers or phone calls every day, and that they only get half an hour of exercise. The IMBs report that it is not uncommon for them to find segregated prisoners locked up for 23 hours a day, with little in the way of meaningful human contact. According to the new Nelson Mandela Rules definition, this means they are in solitary confinement. IMBs record and report on these situations, taking their concerns all the way up to Ministers if necessary.’
Read the article, Putting the Nelson Mandela Rules into practice: the work of the UK National Preventative Mechanism in full here.