This handbook has been prepared to assist corrections advisors on assignment with United Nations peacekeeping operations to advise national prison management on prison security and incident management. It includes principles, conceptual frameworks, and suggestions to help mitigate and prevent mass escapes and prison disturbances in mission settings.
The handbook provides suggested courses of action for corrections advisors and should guide discussions with prison management related to good order and control in the management of prison security.
It is based on extensive lessons learned from field missions in South Sudan, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC ), and Haiti. Suggestions and knowledge gained from advisors in the field are highlighted in italics throughout the handbook. In addition, Annex 3 provides recommendations and suggested courses of action to address issues identified and raised during mission visits, based on observations by experienced corrections advisors.
The handbook was developed to address critical prison security challenges in postconflict countries. Anumber of major prison disturbances or mass escapes have occurred in United Nations missions, some involving loss of life or serious injuries to prisoners, staff or members of the public. These incidents call into question the ability of a prison service to maintain good order and exercise control over prisoners, and the ability of the United Nations to support host countries and national authorities in their capacity to respond to security incidents.
The extent to which prisoners feel that they are treated as human beings, are kept informed and know their rights, obligations, and responsibilities affects the overall culture and climate of a prison. It also determines, to a large extent, the type of incident that occurs. This handbook focuses explicitly on the distinct elements of prison security required to maintain the good order of a prison and the types of control measures required to prevent and manage security incidents.