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United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)

Accession Number: 029970
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"The following rules are not intended to describe in detail a model system of penal institutions. They seek only, on the basis of the general consensus of contemporary thought and the essential elements of the most adequate systems of today, to set out what is generally accepted as being good principles and practice in the treatment of prisoners and prison management" (p. 8). These standards are divided into two parts. Part I--Rules of General Application: five basic principles; prisoner file management; separation of prisoner categories; accommodation; personal hygiene; clothing and bedding; food; exercise and sport; health-care services; restrictions, discipline, and sanctions; instruments of restraint; searches of prisoners and cells; information to and complaints by prisoners; contact with the outside world; books; religion; retention of prisoners' property; notifications of prisoner injury, death, or serious illness; investigations; removal of prisoners from an institution; institutional personnel; and internal and external inspections. Part II—Rules Applicable to Special Categories: prisoners under sentence—five guiding principles specifically for prisons, treatment, classification and individualization, privileges, work, education and recreation, and social relations and aftercare; prisoners with mental disabilities and/or health conditions; prisoners under arrest or awaiting trial; and civil prisoners (non-criminal charges).

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules) cover