Professional and accountable staffing

Prison staff need to be recruited, trained, developed, and provided with  employment conditions that enable them to fulfil their responsibilities to the highest standards.

While leaders of prison services, senior officials in   ministries and legislators set the policies for how prisons are run and provide the leadership to ensure this happens, staff who on a daily basis are responsible for, and in direct contact with, prisoners have immense responsibility for safeguarding the rights and promoting the well being of prisoners.

Inadequate training, poor terms and conditions and lack of any accountability can all diminish the level of performance.

A striking example of improvement has been in the Nuevo Modelo prisons in the Dominican Republic.

There is in place a strategy for the complete transformation of the police and military administration system which allowed for the abuse of prisoners and which was corrupt, unhealthy, unsafe and completely lacking in human rights observance, into a New Model Correctional service focused on rehabilitation of and vocational training for inmates.

A training school for staff has been established at San Cristobal, which provides a full range of training from basic prison staff level (three months) to courses for new directors and other professional staff. New staff have been recruited to the system with enhanced pay and increased responsibilities.

Corrupt practices are met with instant dismissal. Challenges still remain in the form of converting some of the biggest and most corrupt institutions, but the Attorney General is determined to achieve this within the context of the strategic plan, which covers the next five years.
Further information

Handbook for Prison Leaders, UNODC. Click here

A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management. Handbook for prison staff. Second Edition. Click here.