The way prison staff treat prisoners is central to human rights observance:
- Without appropriate behaviour by staff other reform measures will flounder. Yet prison staff training is often non-existent, minimal or inappropriate.
- Changing staff attitudes and behaviour is usually central to the success of prison reform.
- Training is often seen as the solution. But without a visible commitment from the senior management and the establishment of a clear ethical framework for the prison service such training may well be ineffective.
- Human rights training is often seen as a low-cost reform measure. However, its effectiveness depends on how it is delivered, by whom, and within what context.
- Done inappropriately it can be counter-productive.
- Training that involves freeing up prison staff to control their work and make decisions is most likely to reap benefits.
- Other factors important to staff such as their employment conditions and access to redress if their rights are denied must also be given attention.