Can prisons be humane?
It is widely agreed in the human rights community and beyond that places of detention need external scrutiny in order to curb potential excesses and abuses of power and authority. Sometimes this scrutiny is inbuilt within democratic structures of checks and balance, and legislation. In other contexts human rights institutions or civil society organisations take leading roles in holding states accountable through monitoring activities and advocacy. As an NGO with a strong foundation in research and knowledge generation DIGNITY emphasises the potential of social scientific research as an alternative way of scrutinising places of detention, documenting, explaining and promoting change.
To debate these issues and respond to questions this panel brings together a prison governor from Denmark, the governor of a unique therapeutic prison in England and a prison scholar from UK as well as DIGNITY's own Head of Rehabilitation who previously worked as a psychologist for the Danish Prisons Service.
Anne Marie Heckscher - Prison Governor, Sønder Omme Prison
Deborah Drake - Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Open University
David Oehlenschläger - Director of Rehabilitation, DIGNITY