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Prison Security in Societies Emerging from Conflict (CR 07-007)

Prison Security in Societies Emerging from Conflict (CR 07-007)

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INPROL Consolidated Response (07-007)

With contributions from Gary Hill, Mike Runnels, Gareth Davies, J. O’ Neil G. Pouliot, Donald Stolworthy, Paul Woodward, Fraser Bryans.

Prepared by Leigh Toomey

INPROL Consolidated Response (07-007) November 29, 2007 Submitted by: Peter Chege, United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (MONUC)

Drafted by: Leigh Toomey, INPROL Rule of Law Facilitator With contributions from:
1. Gary Hill, Chief Executive Officer, CEGA Services 2. Mike Runnels, Deputy Director, Corrections System Support Program, United States Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, PAE-HSC, Afghanistan 3. Gareth Davies, Consultant, formerly with Her Majesty’s Prison Service, United Kingdom 4. J. O’Neil G. Pouliot, formerly with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and INPROL Police Commanders Forum Facilitator 5. Donald Stolworthy, Senior Corrections Advisor, United States Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law 6. Paul Woodward, Deputy Director, Strategic Intelligence, Correctional Service of Canada 7. Fraser Bryans, Forum Facilitator, International Corrections and Prisons Association This query was referred to INPROL by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations which originally received the query through its own discussion forum. INPROL cross-posted the query to its Rule of Law Discussion Forum and obtained responses that have been used to compile this consolidated response. The full text of responses can be found at http://www.inprol.org/node/2349. INPROL invites further comment by members.

Note: All opinions stated in this consolidated response have been made in a personal
capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of particular organizations. INPROL does not explicitly advocate policies.

INPROL is a project of the United States Institute of Peace with facilitation support from the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units, the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, and the Public International Law & Policy Group.

One of the immediate challenges in restoring peace and stability in a society striving to emerge from conflict is developing a prison security system that both prevents prison inmates from escaping and protects corrections officers. The issues that need to be addressed often include inexperienced, untrained and poorly paid prison staff who do not have appropriate weapons and equipment, the lack of secure prison buildings and infrastructure, and a shortage of furnishings and other resources. Security measures must be urgently implemented to establish an adequate level of prison security that meets international human rights standards and can be developed and sustained by a new government with competing funding priorities.

Is there a template that can be used in the short-term to develop a prison security system in a post-conflict environment? If not, what steps can corrections professionals take to develop and implement security measures in prisons as quickly as possible?

Response Summary:
The re-establishment or strengthening of the administration of prison systems in countries emerging from conflict is relatively new and as a result, there is no established framework for developing and implementing a prison security strategy. Although there are recurring challenges to be addressed in all prison systems, the solutions depend on the specific country context and the resources and capabilities of those responsible for managing the prison system. Among the critical considerations are the degree of damage to existing prison facilities, the competency of prison system leadership and staff, the extent of their partisan affiliation with groups associated with the conflict, the international and local resources available to develop a response, and most important, the extent of political will to correct critical defects in the prison system. There are a number of steps that corrections professionals can take to improve prison security, both in terms of securing the available physical infrastructure and developing appropriate security procedures. Reforms should only be undertaken after a careful and comprehensive assessment has been made of the prison system. This should include national prison law; existing infrastructure; a profile of current prison staff; and a review of existing practices, procedures, and government policies for the prison system. An approach to prison management that includes a security strategy, tailored to the specific context, including existing and prospective resources, can then be developed. Prison Infrastructure: When damage to prison infrastructure is extensive or existing facilities are inadequate, new prisons will need to be built. Damaged prison facilities should be assessed by a structural engineer before repair work is undertaken. The plan must also take into

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account international standards regarding prison conditions (availability of food, water, sanitation, space, air and light) and treatment of prisoners by corrections officers – all of which, when inadequate, can lead to control and security problems. This is not to suggest that applicable international standards can be complied with immediately or that it is realistic to apply them completely, but the intent should be honored. Key considerations in developing secure prison infrastructure include: Site Analysis and Selection1: The existing or planned prison site will need to be evaluated in terms of its location, proximity to essential services, and suitability for longterm use. (a) Location of the Site • Is the site close to a railroad, highway, waterway or other major route that may present security and safety difficulties or impede later development of community infrastructure? What is the nature of surrounding terrain? Are there wooded areas or mountains nearby that would facilitate escape? Are there dangers nearby (such as flood plains, dry areas that are a fire risk, or hazardous waste) that could impede evacuation? Is the site close enough to medical facilities, courthouses and food service providers (so that sick or injured prisoners and those who need to appear in court can be easily transported, and prisoners fed)? Are basic utilities available – such as water, sewage, electricity, and telephone lines? Adequate utilities are unlikely to be available on a regular basis to the majority of people in a post-war environment, particularly outside of urban areas and major cities. Donor assistance may be needed to ensure that essential utilities are available. Is the site adequate for proper separation of different categories of prisoners, future expansion, and other requirements such as recreation facilities? Is the site accessible to external assistance – fire, medical, police – in the event of a major incident?

• •

(b) Design and Supervision • • • Is there a secure admissions area where sensitive records of prisoners can be stored? Are inmates monitored and how does this occur (physical supervision by staff or assisted by cameras, audio/video, metal detectors, motion detectors)? Are staffing levels adequate to ensure safety, security and control of prisoners and for all aspects of prison life (meals, visits, programs/workshops)?


These issues are also discussed in detail in the International Corrections and Prisons Association’s (ICPA) “Practical Guidelines for the Establishment of Correctional Services within UN Peace Operations” and “Corrections Facilities Needs Assessment and Master Planning Manual” as well as the “Prison Support Guidance Manual” produced by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, all of which can be found in the Compilation of Resources section below).

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Are facilities available for minimum visiting entitlements? Is there a secure meeting area of adequate size and with appropriate seating and furnishing? For attorney visits, this area should allow for confidential communications with prisoners, while allowing visitors to be in easy reach of corrections officers. Are correction officers armed and where are weapons stored? No firearms should be allowed in accommodation areas or any other location to which prisoners have access. Where used, they should be protected from prisoners by a physical obstacle.

(c) Housing Area • • • • • • • Are the cells secure (wood, steel, stone etc) and capable of being locked (padlock, bar etc)? Is the housing area free of items that can be used for storage of contraband, escape, violence or suicide? Is there adequate light, heat and ventilation? Are cells of sufficient size to house each prisoner (or prisoners, as is often the case in post-war environments)? What furnishings are available in the cells? Are there secure support areas such as showers and toilets, work areas, kitchen/dining room, laundry and medical facilities? Are different categories of prisoners separated (men, women, juveniles, pretrial detainees, etc.)? Are there separate facilities to house sick, violent, or other high-risk prisoners? In the interests of good order, cultural preferences should be respected (some prisoners prefer to share accommodations, others do not). How do prisoners communicate and interact? Do they spend a significant part of the day together or separately? Are the cells a sufficient distance from perimeter security (wire, towers, fences etc) and clearly visible by external guards?

• •

Security problems can arise when these considerations are not addressed. According to an INPROL member who had worked with the UN Mission in Haiti from 1994-6, an initial survey of the prisons system revealed serious problems, including the lack of records of prisoners and the reason for their incarceration. Prisoners were fed by their families (who could barely feed themselves) and, in some areas, men, women and children were kept in the same cell with no sanitation, other than a steel barrel. These conditions caused serious health problems and created an unstable environment which made violence between prisoners and rioting more likely. The UN peacekeeping operation was able to assist the national penitentiary authority to arrange on a short-term basis for NGOs to supply food in Port au Prince which was delivered by UN Pol to some prisons. The food was delivered on a daily basis to reduce the likelihood of its consumption by anyone other than prisoners. Hostile Environments: In an unstable environment, particularly where there is ongoing conflict, the prison may have to withstand attack from outside.

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(a) Blast proof protection. Blast protection and distance may be required for the gate complex. Vehicle compounds should be located away from corrections personnel. (b) The "onion" concept. The onion concept (a series of ring barriers around the accommodation envelope) is the simplest method for basic security in a hostile environment. One ring is the minimum, three rings is optimal. This will usually involve some reinforcement of existing buildings. A locking schedule must be devised for the single point of entry (which is controlled by a person who has a secure station outside the accommodation envelope). Within the accommodation envelope, the prisoners’ cells or living compound should have secure integrity separated as far as possible from the perimeter of the accommodation envelope. Buildings need to be at least five meters from a perimeter ring fence to prevent crossings between buildings. The perimeter rings need to be five meters apart. The outer ring should have some screening to prevent view into the prison. The outer rings can be improvised with razor wire which should be at least three coils high and picketed with angle iron. The coils need to be connected and pinned to the ground. Each ring should have a single entry point capable of allowing vehicle access. It should not be possible to compromise the gates at the same time (i.e. they should not be in line). The outer ring should have a vehicle holding area (an anti-Trojan Horse measure). (c) Modular Accommodation Units. Modular accommodation units can be used for new missions in conjunction with the onion concept. There is a large variety of modular prison buildings, including maximum security, standard cells/dormitory, kitchen, and related facilities. Some are designed to be transported as fully erected units, while others are assembled on site with a minimum of effort (involving use of concrete, electrical fitting and plumbing). Portable towers are also available that are fully equipped and can be used for perimeter security. However, careful consideration has to be given to how such units will be funded (including the costs of transportation) and what happens to them when the international mission withdraws from the country (i.e. the host nation will either have to replace the units or the mission will need to find a donor to fund the replacement costs). Solutions will need to be compatible with local conditions (as noted in the section above on “Site Analysis and Selection”) and sustainable to be effective. Another potential “quick” solution is to use strategically placed towers (which can be constructed of wood using local labor) and to find donors to provide portable toilets, showers, medical tent/units, generators, and mobile kitchens. The few cells needed for maximum-security offenders can be purchased or built from shipping containers. Containers can be converted into safe, secure and humane cells. (d) Use of Formed Police Units (FPUs). At the inception of a mission, if no local capacity exists to provide external security for prisons, FPUs could be used. When involved in the protection of fixed locations, no less than a “section” (10 police officers) should be employed. FPUs should not be used for internal security, however, since this task requires special skills, equipment, and procedures. A Special Weapons and Tactics capacity for interventions in correction facilities in case of riots or hostage taking may also be needed. It may be preferable to invest in reliable communications equipment and to work out a formal arrangement with qualified police or military units (host nation or international peacekeeping forces) to establish a quick

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response capability in case of emergency. Such a plan must be coordinated and practiced, and clear lines of authority and communications must be established. Command and control arrangements must be clearly established. Activities that occur within the perimeter of the prison should be under the control of the prison administration, unless it has been determined otherwise in advance of the operation. Security procedures: Reliance on physical infrastructure and equipment alone is not sufficient. Effective security procedures must be developed, even though this takes time and involves many challenges. Abusive practices will often have been used under the old regime. A vetting system should be developed with the national prison authorities to identify and remove human rights abusers. Those who are retained will need to be retrained and monitored to ensure they perform their duties in an impartial manner that is consistent with international standards. More people may be imprisoned for serious crimes after conflict, putting further pressure on overcrowded prison facilities. There may be continuing ethnic, religious or other identity group tensions between prisoners, as well as between prisoners and national prison staff (who may themselves be traumatized in the immediate aftermath of conflict). Determining the legal status of prisoners (particularly whether remand warrants have expired) will be difficult, if not impossible, if court administrative structures have been destroyed. Finally, mission prison experts from various jurisdictions will not necessarily have a common understanding of the principles of sound prison management. To minimize security risks while broader development of the prison system is taking place, a number of immediate steps can be taken. Vetting and Recruitment of New Prison Staff: One of the first steps is to discuss with national authorities the need to vet existing staff and recruit new employees. (a) Conducting Background Checks. The most important initial vetting needs to occur with existing prison staff, especially at the senior and middle management levels. The buy-in, comprehension, and support for change from upper management and prison directors is critical if permanent, meaningful changes are to be made. Corrections advisors must undertake a detailed interview with each applicant to determine his/her suitability to perform as a prison officer. This includes speaking with neighbors, members of the local community and others familiar with the applicant’s background, particularly to determine whether the applicant had been involved in abuses during the conflict. One technique used in Kosovo was to post the list of names of current prison staff being considered for hiring in the locales where they lived and worked with a request for information concerning instances of prisoner abuse. The applicant’s name should also be sent to police, military and public security agencies and human rights groups to ensure that any anecdotal evidence supplied in the background checks can be cross-checked against credible data held by such groups on human rights abuses. As part of these investigations, the applicant should also be required to undertake necessary medical and other aptitude tests to determine his/her physical and mental capacity to perform the demanding tasks of a corrections officer. Sample background check forms are available in the Compilation of Resources section below.

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(b) Advertising of Positions. Advertisements can be placed in the mass media and by putting flyers on posts and walls in neighborhoods, food distribution centers, churches, government and social service agencies. The advertisement should include job descriptions that are specific as to initial qualifications and duties. Corrections advisors should also meet with the police service (which may have more applicants for jobs than it can accept), church and social service agencies to explain the skills and background required. (c) Requiring a Completed Application Form. This assists corrections advisors to determine the general level of literacy. When literacy rates are poor, advisors should help local authorities determine what level of literacy is required for prison staff. Since their duties involve report writing, reading of post orders and helping inmates access public agencies, the ability to read and write is important. If literacy is a major problem, corrections advisors should coordinate with the national educational system or, more likely, NGOs that specialize in education, to establish literacy classes for new staff. (d) Special Issues. Attention should be given to ensuring that the host nation’s ethnic profile is reflected in recruitment outcomes and that the recruitment of women is actively encouraged. In situations in which women or certain groups have been denied educational and work opportunities under previous regimes, differing recruitment qualifications may be necessary. Cultures that do not have a tradition of women working in prison systems will benefit from the development of targeted strategies such as: • • working with international and national women’s organizations to identify appropriate methods to target local women applicants; and ensuring recruitment personnel have a good knowledge of gender equity principles and strategies for promoting these within the national environment.

Where there is a UN or other international mission: • utilizing the Gender Unit to develop strategies and materials to assist recruitment efforts (e.g. materials developed for recruitment for other mission components, background information on local culture and customs relating to women working in the security sector); engaging the Public Information Office Unit of the mission in designing and implementing an information program that targets women; liaising with the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration team to recruit demobilized women.

• •

Staff retention may be enhanced by establishing support groups that include new female recruits and current staff. It is also likely that the national staff will be poorly paid. Corrections advisors should provide national staff with consistent information concerning the relationship between the host country economy and funding arrangements, so that salary levels will sustainable. Having the central agency responsible for setting public sector salaries address staff meetings can also be a useful strategy.

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Training new staff: Current and comprehensive knowledge of the prison culture and population, and an understanding of the interaction patterns among prisoners and between prisoners and corrections officers is key to long-term prison security. Corrections advisors must work with national prison authorities to develop training programs for prison staff in order to achieve this level of comprehension of prison security (i.e. dynamic security). (a) Needs Analysis. A training needs analysis should be conducted prior to establishing a training program. Although training programs can be acquired from a variety of sources, without a needs analysis, the training may not be relevant to the correctional system being established or rehabilitated. (For a further discussion of this issue, see the INPROL Consolidated Response on Planning and Evaluation of Corrections Training, October 2007). (b) Training Programs. Either the host nation or donors will have to have sufficient resources, such as training equipment and venues, to provide meaningful training. Often, the most effective method is to bring in a new cadre of prison staff that is free from the institutional problems that plagued the old system, train them appropriately and then begin rotating them into the existing cadre. This method allows for “clean” vetting and a training environment free from the system demands to deploy and alleviates the strain on the system to release staff for training. Once the new staff are deployed, the next step is to begin vetting and retraining the old staff. Full training programs (including lesson plans) have been developed by the ICPA. (The ICPA Basic Training Manual for Correctional Workers is listed in the Compilation of Resources section below.) Standard Operating Procedures: Standard operating procedures and codes of conduct must also be developed, and prison staff trained to implement the new procedures, in key areas such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • reception and orientation of prisoners, recording of information and sentence management; accommodation of prisoners; provision of food, health services and medical supplies; control of movement of prisoners; counting of prisoners; searches and seizure of contraband (including searches of staff members); visitation and access to mail/news sources; investigation of deaths in custody; investigation and discipline of violation of the law by prisoners; segregation of vulnerable groups; transfer of prisoners and prisoner escort; management of emergencies; use of force; reporting and recording security information (e.g. pre-shift briefings, recording observations in log books etc); recording, maintenance and storage of firearms; case management and educational programs; and investigation and resolution of prisoner complaints, and mechanisms for independent inspections of prisons.

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If it has not already done so, the government should also be encouraged to sign and ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as its Optional Protocol that establishes mechanisms for independent review of the treatment of prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross may also have an agreement with government to visit places of detention. Unannounced prison searches: Prison staff are responsible for conducting regular and intermittent searches of prisoners and prisons. These searches are conducted either at regular and random intervals or in response to specific information. Searches by prison staff are used to prevent prisoner escape and involvement in criminal activities while searches by independent oversight bodies are intended to deter prisoner abuse by staff. National prison legislation, policy and procedures are required to empower prison staff and independent oversight to conduct such searches. International Human Rights monitors could act as ex-officio members of independent inspections teams and could be charged with helping to train independent inspectors. Prison Intelligence: A related means of improving prison security is to establish a prison intelligence system. The objective of prison intelligence is to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on the criminal activities of prison inmates, as well as identifying their contacts both in and out of prison. Such a system should be developed and shared with the national police. The result of these combined efforts would provide the authorities knowledge and information necessary to make informed judgments and take appropriate actions to effectively counter and control criminal activities within and outside the prison system. INPROL invites further comment by members on their experience in developing and implementing prison security measures, particularly in countries emerging from conflict. Further detailed information on establishing prison security can be found in the resources listed below.

________________ Compilation of Resources:
This Consolidated Response draws from many of the following resources which are useful reference tools for rule of law practitioners. All listed documents are uploaded to the INPROL Digital Library. RESOURCES ON STANDARDS FOR CORRECTIONS FACILITIES Selected International Standards  United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1955)  European Prison Rules (1987)  United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (1988)  United Nations Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners (1990)  United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990)

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 United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (The Tokyo Rules) (1990) Other resources • “Correctional Facilities Needs Assessment and Master Planning Manual” which was produced under the auspices of the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme (ISPAC) and the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), June 2004 “Prison Support Guidance Manual”, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, 2006 “Rule of Law Tools for Post-Conflict States – Vetting: An Operational Framework”, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2006. “Basic Training Manual for Correctional Workers: Instructor's Manual, Generic Version”, ISPAC and the ICPA, 2006 “Practical Guidelines for the Establishment of Correctional Services within UN Peace Operations”, ICPA, 2007

• • • •

Related INPROL Materials • • • • INPROL Discussion Forum on Conducting Training Needs Analysis and Field Evaluations of Training in the Corrections/Detention Area, August 2007 INPROL Consolidated Response on Planning and Evaluation of Corrections Training, October 2007 INPROL Discussion Forum on Prison Reform: Anecdotal Evidence of Best Practices, November 2007 INPROL Consolidated Response on Formed Police Unit Tasks, March 2008.

Standard Forms  Background Investigation Form

USEFUL INTERNET RESOURCES  American Correctional Association (http://www.aca.org)  Correctional Service of Canada (http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca)  Higher Institute of Penitentiary Studies (Italy) (http://www.giustizia.it)  International Centre for Prison Studies (http://www.prisonstudies.org)  International Corrections and Prisons Association for the Advancement of Professional Corrections (http://www.icpa.ca)  National Institute of Corrections (United States) (http://www.nicic.org)  Penal Reform International (http://www.penalreform.org)  International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme (http://www.ispac-italy.org)  United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Peacekeeping Best Practices Section (http://www.peacekeepingbestpractices.unlb.org/pbpu)

Note: All opinions stated in this consolidated reply have been made in a personal
capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of particular organizations. INPROL does not explicitly advocate policies.
November 2007 INPROL Consolidated Response (07-007) Page 9 of 10

New Queries: To send a new query, please send an email to inprol@inprol.org. Documents: To submit a document to INPROL, please login to INPROL and visit http://www.inprol.org/uploadcontent or send an email (with the document attached) to inprol@inprol.org.

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