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Thailand’s prison population has steadily increased over the years and the country has the dubious distinction of having the largest prison population and the highest incarceration rate among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.
For more than a decade, United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms have expressed concern over prison conditions in Thailand. Regrettably, successive Thai governments have failed to make any progress in the implementation of the UN’s recommendations and to uphold their own commitments to improve prison conditions. In addition, since the 2014 military coup, Thailand’s junta has enforced measures that have caused conditions in the prisons to deteriorate. The junta also increased the use of military facilities to detain civilians.
Global Prison Trends 2018 is the fourth edition in Penal Reform International’s annual series, published in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice. The report analyses trends in criminal justice and the use of imprisonment and, as in previous years, these show that while overall crime rates around the world have declined, the number of people in prison on any given day is rising.
Keywords: prisoner, women, children, justice, healthcare, laws
Women are estimated to account for one third of the 275 million people who use drugs globally. Women who use drugs are consistently reported to have less access to harm reduction services and to be at higher risk of HIV and hepatitis C infection than men who use drugs. Despite these reports, robust data on this subject is scarce, and research on drug use and related health issues rarely produces information about women.
The Global State of Harm Reduction 2018 identifies a number of key issues and themes reflected across the world that limit women’s access to harm reduction services, and highlights cases of good practice.
The Global Prison Trends 2017 report by Penal Reform International, in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice, provides a window to one of the least visible and least accessible government sectors, while highlighting some of the most intractable correctional issues for policy makers across the world. Prison overcrowding, inhumane treatment and the rising number of vulnerable groups of prisoners are problems that have long been listed as primary challenges when it comes to prison management. Yet the problems still persist in many parts of the world today, necessitating a new perspective and approach for criminal justice reforms.
In 2010, the United Nations adopted the Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the ‘Bangkok Rules’) to give guidance on how to meet the specific needs of women in prison.
This Practical Guide is intended for existing harm reduction and HIV-related service providers, managers, health-care workers and outreach workers, as well as those planning to work directly with women who inject drugs. Given the wide range of contextual variables (such as epidemiological factors, resource availability, extent and types of structural barriers, sociocultural issues, staff experience, etc.) that may have impact on the provision of women-specific harm reduction services, this Guide does not prescribe specific sets of protocols to be followed for particular types of women-specific services. Instead, it presents key objectives, priorities and rationales that should inform the design and implementation of services for women who inject drugs.
Evidence supports the need for a shift in the global approach to drug use. In this report, Do no harm: health, human rights and people who use drugs, UNAIDS shows what works to reduce the impact of HIV and other harms related to drug use. Countries that have moved away from laws and policies that are harmful to people who use drugs and that have increased investment in harm reduction have reduced new HIV infections and improved health outcomes. These policies also deliver broader social benefits, such as lower levels of drug-related crime and reduced pressure on health-care and criminal justice systems.
This is the second annual edition in our Global Prison Trends series produced by Penal Reform International, describing key global trends in the use and practice of imprisonment and the pressing challenges facing states that wish to organise their penitentiary systems in accordance with international norms and standards.
Topics include for example: developments in international criminal justice policy; notable changes to policy at the national level; prison population trends; prison management issues (eg. security and violence, radicalisation, corrections in fragile and conflict states, corruption) and new technologies. The 2016 also has a new section on the provision of food in prisons, with some representative data on food expenditure.
Keywords: HIV, drugs, violence, women, children, health, human rights
Over the past several decades, the weakening of criminal justice systems and reliance on ineffective, overly punitive policies have led to the deterioration of prisons globally. This has caused overcrowding and facilitated the spread of infectious diseases such as TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Prisons are intrinsically linked to communities; thus, the TB and MDR-TB epidemics in prisons have impacted health outcomes in countries where excessive incarceration is prevalent.
The new data in this report shows a worrying slowdown in the provision of harm reduction services for people who use drugs, with no new countries introducing needle and syringe programmes since 2014.
Along with this, there has been a rise in injecting stimulant use across all regions of the world, and a dramatic increase in overdose deaths.
Harm reduction in prisons also remains vastly insufficient, with only a very small number of countries providing needle exchange or overdose training in at least one prison.
Keywords: HIV, PWID, prisoners, drug, OST, NSP, hepatitis C, needle/syringe