Every prisoner is a human being who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. This principle imposes an absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever.
The Nelson Mandela Rules should be applied without discrimination based on race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, cultural identity or any other status, such as sexual orientation.This being said, the principle of non-discrimination also includes an obligation to protect the rights of prisoners with special needs by adjusting the prison regime accordingly. Prisoners with physical or mental disabilities, for example, should have meaningful access to prison life
The duty of prison administrations and prison staff is to manage the deprivation of liberty imposed by the State, but not to inflict further hardship.To maintain and increase prisoners’ social reintegration prospects, life inside prison should be as similar as possible to life in the outside community, including services of a comparable quality and regular contact with families and significant others.Otherwise, prisoners are at risk of becoming institutionalized: the longer they are in prison, the more likely they are to lose their ability to live a regular and self-supporting life when they are released.
Safety and Security
Prisons should provide a safe and secure environment at all times. This principle is not limited to following effective and humane security practices and protocols. It should also include measures to ensure the continued safety and well-being of prisoners in the course of their imprisonment, as well as the safety of prison staff, service providers and visitors.
The primary purpose of a prison sentence is to protect society from crime and to reduce reoffending. This can only be achieved if the time in prison is used to support the willingness and ability of prisoners to lead a law-abiding and self-supporting life upon release. All rehabilitative services, including education, vocational training and other programmes should be in line with the individual needs of prisoners.