How International Organizations Impact Incarceration and Prison Management in Brazil Essay
- Length: 10 pages
- Sources: 7
- Subject: Criminal Justice
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #3422744
Excerpt from Essay :
International Organizations Impact Incarceration and Prison Management in Brazil
People incarcerated in prisons from developing countries like Brazil face long years of confinement in dirty and cramped quarters. Some of the harsh conditions the prisons present include inadequate hygiene, insufficient food allocations, and no clothing or other basic amenities. Even as the conditions do not form a pattern across the continent, the prevalence hits higher concerns requiring intervention from international organizations. The interactions allow resident prison managers to address inadequacies through prison reform and increased attention towards human rights. Various barriers include state secrecy, absence of public interest, and weak civil society inhibiting collection of sustainable information on the deplorable prisons. The veil of ignorance on the kinds of prison conditions that fuel abuse and neglect of people incarcerated makes it imperative for investigation of prison trends. International organizations generate information regarding issues that affect the penal system of the continent.
The paper outlines various historical establishments of evolution of prisons in Brazil. The essay examines various areas that prisons in Brazil fail to address the minimal threshold for human rights provisions. The recognition that developing countries have profound diversity ensures an inclusion of common abuse themes for human rights irrespective of the continental examination. The most apparent shortcomings include poor prison governance and resources; poor prisons conditions and overcrowding; and failure to safeguard rights of persons detained before trial. There is untapped potential to engage in alternative sentencing as well as unfulfilled rehabilitation mandates. The essay then considers various viable possible oversight and reform sources. International organizations under focus include the United Nations Office Drugs Crime. The paper makes reference to the contributions of United Nations.
In the past, Brazil prisons encounter a broad range of challenges such as good governance deficits, limited funding, and other inefficiencies. The shortcomings result in overcrowding and abusive prison environments. Several international organizations and governments are committed to improving the scope of incarceration through promotion of prisoners' rights. Developing countries have a whole range of innovative institutions and instruments protecting the human rights of people behind bars. They lack the resources and political will to implement the pronouncements into sustainable practices.
United Nations Office Drugs Crime
Since 2002, the Commission has operated through the Developing countries Union auspices. The programs implemented play significant roles in the improvement of prison conditions across various developing countries including Brazil . One of the criteria used by which this Commission is contributing to the prisoners' lives betterment. Efforts include the adjudication and investigation of any rights violation. The Commission investigates developing countries' prison conditions based on its special rapporteurs (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2008). Other programs involve the establishment of focus groups as well as adjudication of respective cases. The Commission queries member governments and develops resolutions regarding prison conditions across the continent. Several appointments of working groups and special rapporteurs hold importance for the prison reform area in developing countries. For instance, the Commission has a Rapporteur working on Rights of Women across Developing countries and the Death Penalty Working Group. Other parties include Human and Peoples' Rights Working Group and Indigenous Populations/Communities Working Group on in Developing countries and Human Rights Defenders Special Rapporteur in developing countries. Instruments managing regional and international human rights concepts play integral roles in working of international organizations and subsidiary organs.
The integrations promote the implication and review procedures of their works across developing countries prisons. For instance, the Commission brings onboard the Charter on Welfare and Rights of the Child, UN Standard Minimum Rules for Prisoners and the UN Body of Principles for All Person Protection. Other treaties include International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Rights of Women Protocol (Trebilcock & Daniels, 2009). In 1995, the Commission installed the Developing countries Prisons' Resolution that extended the protections and rights from the United Nations Office Drugs CrimeCharter to detainees and prisoners. The Commission works towards emphasizing on individual state accountability in caring for prisoners. It requires guarantee that minimal standards of rights to prisoners are met. The Commission is yet to establish coherent standards through guidelines to the levels and elements of prisoners' rights violations. In the cases, the organization hears complainant's evidence for further evaluation based on government's responses.
In times that governmental response is absent, the Commission finds outcomes in the complainant's favor. However, the organization has adopted various resolutions regarding the scope of prisons in developing countries. This includes Resolutions to adopt of the Ouagadougou Plan of action and declaration to accelerate reforms in prison and penal law in Developing countries. The instruments impact recommendations that reduce overcrowding make prisons more self-sufficient, promote reintegration and rehabilitation programs, and make prison administrators more accountable for respective actions. The tools encourage best practices; promote the Developing countries Charter on Human Rights while supporting establishment of the Basic Rights Charter for Prisoners in collaboration with the UN (Adetula, Adetula & Fatusin, 2010).
There are several special rapporteurs appointed by United Nations. Their work includes evaluation of prisoners' rights to Prisons and Conditions of Detention Special Rapporteur appointed back in 1996. The appointment came based on developing countries Charter on Peoples' Rights that permitted the organization to promote and investigate human rights within the continent. The organization fulfilled the mandate through all appropriate methods stipulated in the Charter. Such benefits from the appointment of the SRP are associated with the promotion function of the Commission conducted within the public. The purpose of SRPs is inspecting and reporting on the prison conditions as a way of protecting the rights of the people held in prisons. SRP researches the prison conditions and reports to Developing countries governments on the status of the penal systems (Trebilcock & Daniels, 2009). The position entertains further complaints on prison conditions through reporting to the Commission yearly. SRPs also propose relevant solutions in addressing challenges within Brazil's prisons. The SRP trains personnel in law enforcement such as police, prison administrators and guards, as well as lawyers towards improving prison conditions. Special Rapporteur engages in work through Brazil visitations, inspection of prisons, and reporting on the conditions. There are provisions for follow-up visits.
All visits to countries adhere to the human rights agenda. SRPs meet government leaders and follow press conferences prior making visitations to various police holding cells, reform schools, and prisons. For each of the sites, SRPs meet administrators, tour the facilities, and meet inmates in presence of the prison officials. Immediately SRPs conclude their visits; they meet government officials to table recommendations on major issues (Othmani -- & Bessis, 2008). Final draft reports are developed with government responses and made available to the government only. However, this should change to allow residents and citizens in Brazil to access the reports. Irrespective of having the reports varying across countries, the reports from the SRPs face an overwhelming call for an increase in resources dedicated to facilities in prisons (Jewkes, Crewe & Bennett, 2012). Special Rapporteur has frequently called for the improvement of prison officials' training in human rights. SRP reports highlight the essence of having improved relations for intra-prisoner elements as a way of protecting human rights. Further to the examination of prison facilities, SRPs also analyze national penal legislation for purposes of ensuring compliance with Brazilian and international laws. Reports of such examinations are later presented to the Commission. However, the outcomes of the exercise should be made public as well. In practice, SRP equates useful tools in the protection of prisoners' rights. There are several barriers hindering scope and theoretical import. SRPs are strapped through the virtue of double-billing and under-funding as the Commissioner (Adetula, Adetula & Fatusin, 2010). From this, SRPs only manage to visit few states in Brazil. SRPs also face constraints of the visits as such trips need consent of receiving states. Receiving SRPs needs higher levels of commitment including following subsequent recommendations. If SRPs are going to attain their full potential as proposed by the parent human rights institution, more states should accommodate visitation requests.
Prisons Conditions in Brazil
Overcrowding is one of the most pressing issues facing prisons in Brazil. Other countries like South Africa, Cameroon, Zambia, and Rwanda have a majority of the most overcrowded prisons in the world. Similar to the challenges that face prisons in modern day, overcrowding has greatly affected the Brazil' colonial past. The prisons have hit above capacity levels since their inception. The range of challenges that face postcolonial Brazil make prisons left off from development project lists by governments. Before the examination of the scope of the prison population in Brazil, it is important to address physical conditions that the populations are held within. It is clear that prisons throughout Brazil are languishing in disrepair. Buildings are poorly ventilated, too old and covered with hazardous sewage systems. The conditions offer a breeding ground for transmitting communicable diseases. The prisoners lack ideal spaces for sleeping or sitting, poor hygiene, and insufficient clothing and food are inadequate. Together with the decay and deprivation, the overburdened prison staffs…