Since March 2020, European prison services suffer from the Covid threat. They have addressed many challenges during the first phases of the Covid pandemic with the pursuit to prevent the Covid threat from entering prison facilities, while maintaining safety and protecting human rights standards. Towards this end, prison services sought innovative solutions and shared learning experiences from the Covid crisis.
However, Covid-19 remains
an immense threat to the prison services, and with the alterations of the virus
and the unprecedented rise of overcrowding, prisons become more vulnerable to Covid
infection and other transmittable diseases.
EuroPris as always has
the role of facilitating and promoting networking for exchanging and sharing
information, experiences, and good practices. In addition to the data
collection on Covid-19, it has been decided to form a working group aiming to
produce a practice collection, showcasing reforms and innovations implemented
in the prison context. The group will work on a number of subtopics regarding Covid-19
in prisons, to which you can suggest more subtopics than the proposed ones:
Early release measures – Alternatives to detention
Family relations (i.e. physical visits, online visits, phone calls)
Management of infectious deceases (including Covid) inside and outside prisons – medical challenges in prisons
Prison regime – new normality?
Vaccinations of staff and inmates
Visiting policies (i.e. safe-pass, rapid-test before entrance)
Maintaining safety while safeguarding human rights (i.e. right to health, education, sports, etc.)
Are there any rights that are more limited than others i.e. transfer of prisoners to attend family matters (family weddings, funerals, closed sick relatives)?
How the migration flows have influenced the operations of prison services?
The work of the group will be coordinated by Athena Demetriou, Deputy Director-General, Cyprus Department of Prisons.
Nominate an expert
All EuroPris members are welcome to contribute to this innovative and valuable collection of Covid learnings. To nominate an expert; send a motivation letter and CV to [email protected] before 15 February 2022. Also, add your preferred issues to be incorporated in the work of the group.
Experts will be selected
based on their profile and the final set of topics to be addressed.
A Terms of Reference document
will be adopted including a workplan and operating procedures of the group. The
expected life span of the group is March-September, with a possibility to
prolong the group to the end of 2022. No travelling is expected for the members
of the group.