Detention conditions in the European Union

The main objective of the project is to discuss the problems of prison administration and develop prison management; sensitize penitentiary systems to human rights issues; suggesting mechanisms to monitor prison conditions effectively and ensure accountability in respect of violation of human rig hts. For that reasons the research wants to promote the collection of data on prisons in Europe. The project wants to study, through quantitative and qualitative analysis, the present condition of the national prison systems and the related systems of alternatives to detention in Europe, underlining their peculiarities and weakness.

The data collected through various research methodologies (quantitative and qualitative ) will be placed in relation with the minimum standards defined at European level (i.e. t he Recommendation (2006)2 ) and the guidelines about criminal treatment elaborated by the competent institutions. The research will contribute to the homogenization of data, the creation of a database and its constant updating. Moreover the possibility of monitoring the prison conditions will permit a constant control on the implementation of the European Recommendations, and it will be an useful instrument for the policy makers. The project, then, will proceed with the identification and dissemination of the 'good practices' existing in the different countries. In addition this research aim to the promotion of new forms of management and shared control of the prison systems, in order to improve the overall conditions of detention within the European Union, and to enforce the multilateral cooperation in the field of detention, not only between states but also between the different institutions, organizations and associations involved in the monitoring process. The consolidation of a European network to monitor the detention conditions will enhance the knowledge on each countries’ prisons systems.

The project activities will be accessible, step by step, to the partners and any others interested subjects through the creation of a web site. This will facilitate a nd promote the knowledge of the prison condition in the most widespread way. In fact the diffusion of the data not only to institution and organization, but also to a more vast public is an important element for the promotion of a better knowledge of what of prisons conditions really are. Within the project will be carried out the following activities: Workstream1. Detention in Europe - Reconstruction of the state of art - Creation of a grid for data collection - Data collection Workstream 2. European guidelines on detention - Identification of good and bad practices at local level, in order to outline different models in prison management. - Creation and diffusion of the European guidelines on detention (best practices). - Organizing six workshops in every country where partners are based, for the diffusion of the European guidelines. Workstream 3. Monitoring bodies - Mapping in every country of activities and reports of the NPMs and of other monitoring bodies (formal and informal, national and local). - Comparing different materials collected (resolutions, initiatives, reports...) with the CPT standards. - Organizing a National workshop (one in each partner country) to present and discuss the collected materials and the comparison results with local and national prison ombudsmen, monitoring bodies and other relevant institutions. - Organizing a National public conferences (one in each partner country) with stakeholders and decision makers, to promote the adoption of a NPM and the ratification of OPCAT, where not already ratified.