Argentina's prison system is an example of good practices
November 23, 2011 - Since 2003, Argentina has been implementing a series of measures to improve the country's prison system. Eight years later, the country has just become a reference for other countries in the world. The assessment contained in the report, prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, ended on Thursday, 17 November.
According to the report, "The health and the quality of life of the people in prisons has become a clear priority the penitentiary administration" in Argentina. The document highlights that "impressive" progress was made in health programs and the promotion of gender equality in federal prisons, compared to the observations made in 2008.
Led by Fabienne Hariga, Senior Expert in the HIV Section of the UNODC, the report notes that "since 2008, the Federal Penitentiary Service has initiated an important reform of the prison system. This reform includes a greater attention to the needs of women, of mothers and their accompanying children, of young adults, of foreigner women, of transgender, gays and elderly."
"It also includes the introduction of programmes to prevent violence and to prevent suicide; the reform of the health programme includes a shift from a "medical approach" to a global health approach", the report said.
According to the document, "the new approach to health in prisons is global, based on the concept of health promotion, addressing the environment, the person, the system and the services." In the examples to be followed by other countries is included the Cultural Programme implemented in federal detention facilities.
The United Nations mission visited Argentine federal prison in July to monitor the evaluation started in 2008 on the improvement of health programs, including prevention and treatment of addiction and AIDS, implemented by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Federal Penitentiary Service.