Towards Humane Prisons

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The design of any building profoundly affects how we feel and act within it. This is especially true of places of detention: people deprived of their liberty, sometimes for lengthy periods, have no control over their daily lives. Moreover, prison staff fulfil a vital public service and deserve to work in a safe and healthy environment. This publication provides guiding principles on prison planning and design. These principles are derived from the International Committee of the Red Cross’s extensive experience of visiting detention places around the world and aim to address the shortcomings it has sometimes observed when countries build new prisons. It is hoped that the guiding principles will help to inform structured and inclusive decision-making to ensure decent living and working conditions in the prisons that are ultimately built. The book is intended for national detention authorities and others with an interest in this domain, including international donors and advisers.
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