Commission welcomes rights based approach to prison inspections

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the latest Annual Report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons in Scotland (HMIPS) which, for the first time, uses human rights based standards and quality indicators as a framework for prison monitoring and inspection activities.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:

“Ensuring that people’s rights are protected in prison is an important indicator of how a country is fulfilling its international human rights obligations. In Scotland, while prison conditions are generally adequate, some prisoners face particular threats to their rights, including disabled and older prisoners, who may need additional input to allow them access to prison life, and prisoners from other countries who can be isolated because of language barriers and who may struggle to maintain links with family outside Scotland.

"Identifying and resolving these issues is best done proactively, using the standards set out in human rights laws to monitor and inspect prisons. The Commission welcomes the approach now being taken by HMIPS across the prison estate, which embeds the use of human rights standards throughout the monitoring and inspection framework, putting the lived experience of people in prisons at the heart of its work.”