Good governance for prisons during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic (Report, 2022)
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic many countries saw enhanced cooperation and coordination between justice sector actors in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and maintain the core functions of justice systems where possible. While there are many lessons still to be learned on what worked well and what could have been done better, it is clear that the timely and effective collaboration demonstrated between different stakeholders in many countries should – and can – be possible beyond the short-term COVID-19 response and can provide important lessons for longer-term systematic reform.
This guide is based on research into the COVID-19 justice response around the world, including a particular focus on the responses in Kenya and Kazakhstan. The analysis examines the elements of justice system governance which enabled the sector to react quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons as well as the factors which inhibited timely, relevant responses.
The guide aims to inform better governance in any future crisis situations, as well as the direction of penal reform more broadly. Different stakeholders and decision makers can act swiftly and work together effectively when needed, without a lengthy overhaul of existing systems and processes.