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Report identifies failings in detention centres

Graphic: Inmates

Inmates in Jordan face limited healthcare services, overcrowded prisons and "poor" implementation of the prisoner classification system.

Limited healthcare services, overcrowded prisons and "poor" implementation of the classification system are some of the problems facing inmates in Jordan, according to the First Periodic Report on Conditions at Reform and Rehabilitation Centres.

The report covered the period from 1 January 2013 to 30 June 30 2014, the Jordan Times said.

Inmates complained about the "poor" quality of beds and mattresses, short visit durations and lengthy periods of administrative detention, according to the report, which is based on 48 field visits carried out by 35 human rights monitors, media personnel, psychologists and forensic doctors.

The visits were organised by the National Monitoring Team for the Prevention of Torture, KARAMA, which operates under the mandate of the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) with the support of Dignity-Danish Institute Against Torture.

The report said some inmates claimed they were tortured or ill-treated by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Anti-Narcotic Department personnel, a charge that KARAMA was unable to verify.

In addition, "many" inmates claimed they were abused by the administrators of solitary confinement, the Jordan Times reported.

"According to the observations of the group, torture was not a common policy, occurrence or practice at the rehabilitation centres," NCHR Chief Commissioner Mousa Burayzat said at a press conference to announce the outcomes of the report.

The study also showed that women inmates still lack access to gynaecologists and that the correctional centres need permanent resident physicians, while "not every centre has a mental health clinic to promote inmates' psychological health."

KARAMA recorded a number of positive developments, such as the increase in awareness campaigns carried out by the Public Security Department (PSD) in prisons and the implementation of 21 literacy courses that benefited 447 inmates.

The PSD also installed boxes for suggestions and complaints at the centres and tasked prosecutors general with following up on inmates' complaints at the facilities.

"The advancement of countries is measured today by the humanitarian conditions of their prisons," Burayzat said, adding that the report recommends closing down Jweideh Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre due to its overall "bad" conditions.

Date: 7 April 2015

Source: Jordan Times

Image credits

  1. Inmates - APF, Michael Power