Contact with the outside World

The welfare of prisoners and their chance of adapting to life after prison are very much greater if they are able to maintain contact with their family and , friends.

Prisons need to ensure that provision for visiting, that meets security needs and the rights of prisoners and their visitors are a key element of their operations.

In additions prisons can encourage outside organisations to facilitate contact, especially for those detained far from their families and communities In Nigeria, the NGO Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) provided the materials for prisoners to write letters to families and friends.

They also ensured the letters were delivered. It was noted by prison staff that such contacts were directly linked to a reduction in tension in the prison.

Contact with the outside world is not only of a practical and welfare benefit for the prisoners, but can contribute to a general improvement of the atmosphere inside the prison.

Making Standards Work, an international handbook on good prison practice  by Penal Reform International, provides guidance and  advice on  conditions of detention. Click here to read.