ICPA believes that it is a fundamental obligation of any prison system to actively assist and support incarcerated persons who desire to address their offending behaviour and to help them prepare for their return to society equipped to live crime free lives.
To ensure this, prison administrations and other organisations involved with the management of offenders should ensure that:
- Staff, prisoners and the public understand that the punishment aspect of corrections is restriction of liberty and only those rights needed to assure facility and individual security should be taken from the inmates;
- Offenders are managed in accordance with their assessed risks and needs;
- Prison accommodation meets the standards as established by the United Nations, Council of Europe, American Correctional Association and similar correctional standard-setting organizations;
- Life inside prison facilities should resemble life outside as much as possible;
- Efforts are made to maintain and improve offender contact with their family and other relatives who are important to strengthen their rehabilitation process;
- Sufficient work is provided for prisoners to bring them into a rhythm of normal occupational life. Where possible, work is such that it builds skills for employment after release;
- Vocational training is provided, if possible, especially for young offenders, those with mental health issues and unskilled individuals;
- Education, socio-cultural activities, recreation and sports are organised to advance skills, advance physical and mental health and to teach offenders how to fill leisure time in a constructive way;
- Restorative activities are in place to give offenders a clearer understanding on what it means to be a victim;
- Pre Release Community Integration (work, housing, support and supervision) is organised by internal and external organisations in collaboration with the offender;
- All prison staff are trained to help facilitate an inmate’s transition back to normal society; and
- Prison staff must be on-site and in close contact with inmates in order to detect and respond quickly to their needs.
This public statement of ICPA was agreed by the Board on 17 October 2014 and ratified by the ICPA membership at the Annual General Meeting in Windhoek Namibia 28 October 2014