Coronavirus Covid-19 and Justice Systems: summary of global resources

BRIEFING: What the Justice System Should Do in Response to Covid-19 (in 6 languages)

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International guidance on Covid-19, human rights, justice and prisons

Guidance on how to respond to Covid-19 in detention and in the community for governments from UN bodies, transnational organisations and major international medical NGOs

UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS and OHCHR joint statement on Covid-19 in prisons and other closed settings: https://www.unodc.org/documents/Advocacy-Section/20200513_PS_covid-prisons_en.pdf

WHO: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-determinants/prisons-and-health/news/news/2020/3/preventing-covid-19-outbreak-in-prisons-a-challenging-but-essential-task-for-authorities

ICRC: https://www.icrc.org/en/document/protecting-prison-populations-infectious-disease

UNODC: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/covid-19.html (general) and https://www.unodc.org/documents/Advocacy-Section/MoS_Children_in_detention_COVID-19.pdf (specific focus on children in detention)

UNICEF/Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action: https://alliancecpha.org/en/child-protection-online-library/technical-note-covid-19-and-children-deprived-their-liberty

OHCHR: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/COVID19Guidance.aspx

Council of Europe (Europe only): https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/covid-19-pandemic-urgent-steps-are-needed-to-protect-the-rights-of-prisoners-in-europe

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT): https://rm.coe.int/16809cfa4b

Worldwide Prison Health Research & Engagement Network: https://wephren.tghn.org/covid-19-prisons-and-places-detention/

 

Universally applicable guidance & resources

Universally applicable policy tools for justice administrations and planners working on responding to Covid-19 in their jurisdiction

Expert Report: Covid-19 and prisons in England and Wales by Professor Richard Coker MB BS, MSc, MD, FRCP, FFPH commissioned by The Howard League for Penal Reform and Prison Reform Trust (England & Wales): https://howardleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020_04_01_COKER_Report_HL_PRT.pdf

Policy Briefing: Reducing the Prison Population from the Jesuit Centre for faith and Justice: https://www.jcfj.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/FINAL-COVID-19-Reducing-Remand-Population-.pdf

Statement by Professor Andrew Coyle at teleconference on Covid-19 in prisons in Latin America: https://www.prisonstudies.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/20.03.23_ac_introduccion.pdf

Justice for All and the Public Health Emergency by Pathfinders: https://bf889554-6857-4cfe-8d55-8770007b8841.filesusr.com/ugd/6c192f_1e8d8e91cfec4098b7b26db9cd296d30.pdf

The Expert Network on External Prison Oversight and Human Rights: https://files.constantcontact.com/d0a15046701/d8da3387-95af-4d84-a29d-0dd09efe7359.pdf

COVID-19: Why Are Prisons a Particular Risk, and What Can Be Done to Mitigate This? from Social Science for Humanitarian Action Platform: https://www.socialscienceinaction.org/resources/covid-19-prisons-particular-risk-can-done-mitigate/

 

Summaries of international activity

Some of the most comprehensive summaries of news, data and policy developments in justice systems with regard to Covid-19 around the world

Justice Project (Pakistan based): https://www.jpp.org.pk/covid19-prisoners/

World Prison Brief at ICPR (UK based): https://www.prisonstudies.org/news/news-covid-19-and-prisons

Europe Prison Observatory (Europe only, Italy based): http://www.prisonobservatory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32:covid-19-what-is-happening-in-european-prisons

International Corrections and Prisons Association (Belgium based): https://icpa.org/covid-19-information/

Prison Insider (France based): https://www.prison-insider.com/en/articles/coronavirus-la-fievre-des-prisons

EuroPris: European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (Europe only, Netherlands based): https://www.europris.org/covid-19-prevention-measures-in-european-prisons/

Las prisiones ante el COVID-19 (Spain based): https://covid19prisons.wordpress.com/

University of Helsinki (Finland based): https://blogs.helsinki.fi/gulagechoes/2020/04/01/coronavirus-in-prisons-a-global-perspective-tracking-policy-responses-releases-and-riots/#more-311

Global Access to Justice Project (Global): http://globalaccesstojustice.com/impacts-of-covid-19/

 

International campaigns

Global NGOs campaign activity around human rights in the context of Covid-19 in places of detention

Human Rights Watch (with reference to Asia): https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/06/asia-reduce-prison-populations-facing-covid-19

Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2020/03/covid-19/

Medicins Sans Frontieres: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.ca/content/covid-19-coronavirus

International Drug Policy Consortium (with reference to SE Asia): https://idpc.net/publications/2020/04/covid-19-prisons-and-detentions-in-southeast-asia

Dignity – Dansk Institut Mod Tortur: https://dignity.dk/en/nyheder/global-guidance-and-recommendations-on-how-to-prevent-and-manage-covid-19-in-prisons/

OMCT – World Organisation Against Torture: https://www.omct.org/files/2020/04/25784/omct_covid19_prisonsresponse_en.pdf

A Call to Action from Former Ministers, Attorneys-General, and Senior Judges – Justice Leadership in a Pandemic: https://www.globaldashboard.org/2020/04/29/a-call-to-action-from-former-ministers-attorneys-general-and-senior-judges/

 

Case studies of justice system responses to Covid-19

The purpose of this section is to illustrate the kinds of actions justice administrations have taken, rather than be any kind of exhaustive news summary

Selected examples of judicial leadership (sentencing changes / reduction of custodial remand / bail)

Kenya: https://www.justice-defenders.org/news/clients-released-during-kenya-judiciary-review-of-sentences

India (Maharashtra): https://frontline.thehindu.com/dispatches/article31183492.ece

USA (Ohio): https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/03/9573002/coronavirus-in-jail-prisoners-released

USA (Tennessee): https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21124588/tennessee-supreme-court-orders-local-judges-to-reduce-jail-populations

Selected examples of early release / alternative community supervision

Northern Ireland: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-ireland-prisoners-release-staff-shortage-a9435626.html

Spain: https://elpais.com/espana/2020-03-18/interior-facilita-que-los-reclusos-en-semilibertad-cumplan-su-condena-en-casa.html

France: https://www.ouest-france.fr/sante/virus/coronavirus/coronavirus-prison-6-266-detenus-liberes-en-quinze-jours-6799255

Republic of Ireland: https://www.thejournal.ie/prisoners-released-coronavirus-charlie-flanagan-5052634-Mar2020/

Uganda: https://www.pmldaily.com/news/2020/04/covid-19-crisis-prisons-management-recommend-release-of-2000-prisoners.html

USA (Pennsylvania): https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-department-of-corrections-to-establish-temporary-program-to-reprieve-sentences-of-incarceration/

Selected examples of amnesties

Turkey: https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/90-000-inmates-to-be-released-from-prison-amid-virus-outbreak-akp-153453

Iran: https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-iran-frees-85-000-prisoners-to-combat-spread-of-covid-19-11958783

Indonesia: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/04/01/covid-19-indonesia-releases-more-than-5500-inmates-plans-to-free-50000.html

 

National guidance & resources

The resources gathered here are from national organisations. It’ll be added to and expanded as time goes on. As it stands, most of these resources are based on principles which are applicable internationally.

Irish Penal Reform Trust (Ireland): https://www.iprt.ie/latest-news/iprt-and-covid-19/

Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté (France): https://www.cglpl.fr/2020/covid-19-en-prison-des-mesures-gouvernementales-insuffisantes/

Howard League for Penal Reform (England & Wales): https://howardleague.org/our-response-to-covid-19-and-prisons/

Nacro (England & Wales): https://www.nacro.org.uk/news/nacro-comments/nacro-covid-19-and-keeping-people-in-the-criminal-justice-system-safe/

Prison Policy Initiative (USA): https://www.prisonpolicy.org/virus/index.html

The Marshall Project (USA): https://www.themarshallproject.org/tag/coronavirus

The Justice Collaborative (USA): https://thejusticecollaborative.com/2020/04/report-polling-bipartisan-support-juvenile-detention-covid-19-pandemic/

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