Prison Life Index
Indexes have been set up to evaluate human development, freedom of the press, housing, poverty and universities. But to this day, there is no index that assesses national prison policies. Five years ago, Prison Insider called on you to help create a platform to produce and disseminate information on prison conditions throughout the world. Thanks to your support, information on prison conditions in 87 countries has been made available to all, along with comparison tools and personal accounts in French, English, and Spanish. The Prison Life Index is a tool that rates national prison policies, from rule-making to implementation. The Prison Life Index is designed to become the global reference tool in terms of prison conditions. Information on prisons is challenging to access and share, and is crucial for creating the Prison Life Index. Such a tool makes it clear that bringing this information to the general public’s attention is absolutely necessary. It will allow: - individuals to instantly seize the state of their country’s prisons, with regards to international standards and rules, - States to improve their public policy - national and international monitoring organisations to use this shared reference tool to encourage national governments to improve their public policy, and - media and practitioners to quickly describe national prison policies and to compare specific data, such as healthcare access or continuing education. Prison Insider initiated, and coordinates, the Prison Life Index project. Part of the team at work ! An interdisciplinary consortium of individuals from non-profit, academic and research, public administration and consulting backgrounds shares the design and conception work. Four research laboratories in France and Belgium are involved in the project: -Laboratory for Decision Support System Analysis and Modeling (LAMSADE), UMR CNRS, Université Paris Dauphine, France. -Centre for Research and Analysis on Diplomacy, Public Administration and Politics (CERDAP2), Sciences Po Grenoble and Université Grenoble Alpes, France. -Criminal Law Research Center (CRDP), Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. -Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory in Action-Oriented Sciences (Lirsa), National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), France. A doctoral PhD student is dedicating three years of work to modelizing and creating the first edition of the index. The Prison Life Index’s development process will be documented and made public. Copyright : All Rights Reserved CGLPL The Prison Life Index consists of four broad categories, all based on the major international legal instruments on detention, such as the Nelson Mandela Rules. These rules and standards provide a list of rights for each and every aspect of life in detention. They state, for instance, that all prisoners should benefit from decent accommodation, have access to drinking water, have the ability to maintain family ties, access education, be protected from beatings, and more. The Prison Life Index builds on these norms and transforms them into evaluative criteria: does the prisoner have access to a bed, and bedding? Is water accessible, free and clean? Do incarcerated people have visitation rights, and if so, how often? Is continuing education permitted and varied, and does it result in a degree? Do prison rules explicitly forbid authorities from beating prisoners? Are allegations of mistreatment collected? Final scores will be determined by cross-referencing hundreds of indicators related to incarcerated people’s living conditions. Building the Prison Life Index is a challenging task. Over the past eighteen months, hundreds of hours have been devoted to its creation. The first edition of the Prison Life Index, covering the 47 Council of Europe members, is slated for 2023. The goal is to expand following editions to other regions of the world.
It will be updated annually. Its synthetic and attractive presentation will allow to shine a spotlight on prison conditions that should be made known to everyone. Copyright : ICRC The Prison Life Index is an ambitious and unmatched endeavor. Producing information and creating the proper medium to share it costs time and money. This long-term project involves dozens of people, invites scientific and ethical reflection, calls for a bespoke digital tool and requires the minute collection of data scattered around the world. Bold initiatives don’t come cheap, and while funders have shown interest in the Prison Life Index, its development is partially based on Prison Insider’s own funds, which are quite limited. Our goal is for the Prison Life Index to become an independent tool. This crowdfunding campaign will allow us to build the conditions of our independence into the tool’s modelization, subsequently allowing us to solicit funds from a variety of sources so as not to depend on a single donor. Copyright : ICRC
It will cost 250,000 euros to produce a first edition of the Prison Life Index. The first stage of development is underway. We are turning to crowdfunding to gain independence in the building of the Prison Life Index. In addition, we are looking for institutional funds in line with the ethics and purpose of the project. *French National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT) *French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) *The Council of Europe, European NPM Project *French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs ⦁ Staff, including coordination, doctoral student’s salary, translation, web development ⦁ Organisation of meetings, research workshops and consultations with prisoners, civil society, university and state entities (including prison officials) ⦁ Creation of a sustainable global network of correspondents and sources ⦁ Management of global data collection ⦁ Development of the Prison Life Index website and interface ⦁ Purchase of equipment and supplies Translated by Molly Rapaport