Prisoners have existed since the beginning of humanity as a form of punishment for individuals. In modern times, many countries have made efforts to create more humane prison environments for their inmates with the end goal of returning them back to society in a more stable condition than when they were incarcerated.
Other countries still do not recognize their prisoners as humans and deny them basic rights. With regards to prisons, countries have to deal with overcrowding, finding funding, women prisoners, and the effects of solitary confinement. Although Europe is more progressive than other regions, some countries still face no change.
b. After World War Two, there was a new era for police in Germany and by the 1980’s, prison reform began taking shape. Prisons in modern Germany focus on making life in prison as similar as possible to life in the community and explore other means of penalties for offenders such as fines and end up incarcerating only a small percentage of offenders. The central goals are resocialization and rehabilitation which means that prisoners are enrolled in rehabilitation programs, which increases their chances of not returning to crime. In addition, Germany realizes the special needs of incarcerated women and ensure that children under three years of age are placed with their mothers in special mother-child wings. c.
While the UN has passed the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Bangkok Rules, there are still pressing issues that countries face. For example, overcrowding in prisons leads to insufficient funding. Reducing incarceration rates is the simplest measure that can be taken to reduce overcrowding and can be done by using non-custodial measures such as fines or probation while taking into account the requirements of social justice. In addition, countries can increase goal oriented rehabilitation programs in order to ensure that the offender does not return to crime. On another note, the UN deals with ineffective implementation of past resolutions. Instead, the UN can encourage NGOs to place pressure on governments to implement policies and the NGOs can publicize the fact that the country is not complying with the implementation of policies.
Finally, the overall environment of prisons is designed for male offenders which can be combated by introducing gender-responsive programs for women offenders. These programs can be designed by considering the offenders needs, interests, and region. For example, one program could be designed to help local woman learn the craft of their area which would ensure them jobs in the future.
Afterwards, probation officers can assist with final means of reintegration into society. While prison reform is a slow process, it can lead to a more humane treatment of people.