By Luis M. Martín Dominguez, Jurist of the Corps of Superior Technicians of Penitentiary Institutions.
Persons suffering from mental illness and/or physical or sensory disability, especially persons with intellectual disabilities who are involved in criminal proceedings leading to their imprisonment, for obvious reasons that are not unnoticed by anyone, are especially vulnerable in their passage through our Prison Institution. Although a remarkable daily effort is made in the treatment of these persons by the Prison Institution and by the professionals who are in direct contact with them on a daily basis, the regulations in relation to the provisions on persons with disabilities or mental illness detained in the Prison Institution are obsolete, as they have not been adapted to the normative instruments on the rights of persons with disabilities in recent times and do not provide specific and differentiated answers for these particularly vulnerable people.
In view of the specific normative instruments adopted on both the international level and on the national level concerning the rights of persons with disabilities or affected by mental illness, it is necessary that prison regulations be appropriate to both those bodies and to ensure that particularly vulnerable persons are aware of their rights under these penitentiary regulations.
(* The original article is available in Spanish language only. The article in English is a simple translation of the Spanish version and can contain grammatical and/or spelling mistakes)
Supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union