Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Treatment and Classification of Prisoners

Treatment and Classification of Prisoners / Cuban Law Association,
Dayami Pestano Lazos
Cuban Law Association, Dayami Pestano Lazos, Translator: Unstated

Under the Geneva Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1955), are rules
57 and 59 which address Imprisonment and other measures whose effect is
to separate the criminal from the outside world, which are afflicting by
the very fact of depriving the individual of his right to dispose of his
own person by depriving him of his liberty.

Therefore, the prison system should not aggravate the sufferings
inherent in this condition… the prison regime should utilize — trying to
apply them according to the individual treatment needs of all offenders
— all the remedial, educational, moral, spiritual and methods of other
natures and all forms of assistance that can be provided.

The individualization of punishment is the adaptation process that
occurs between the subject and the sanction. Within this process we find
legal, judicial and prison individualization, this last phase, the most
important, which must be continuous and must comply with all the
biological, psychological and social peculiarities of the subject. Some
of the components of this individualization are the classification and
treatment of prisoners as a way to treat the prisoner as a person in
need of assistance or aid for belonging to a particular group or be a
special case.

Treatment must occur within a framework of respect for human rights to
dignity, liberty, equality and safety.

In Cuba much of recidivism in crime is due to the poor conditions in
prisons where there are no buildings suitable for the various categories
of offenders, nor the prison staff suitable to working scientifically
with the current measures for this.

Despite some experiments, such as sports fields, shops, schools,
hospitals, we have not gone beyond mere mechanical custody, and have
never applied enough effort and and enough funds, to establish a more
serious and consistent therapy, we have settled on external isolation.

Among the many defects are overcrowding and lack of hygiene in these
centers, the idleness which most inmates suffer, and especially the
grouping of inmates regardless of age, severity of the crime and
personal situation: indicted or convicted, or repeat offenders, healthy
versus physically and mentally ill. All these factors adversely affect
the inmates and should be avoided.

There are other drawbacks to imprisonment and that is the violent, the
sexually abnormal, the doctor who has caused an illegal abortion,
motorists who violated traffic code, coexist in the same facility and
share the same areas, and yet there is a great difference between all
these prisoners.

September 27 2012

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