The primary purpose of this document is to facilitate a human rights-based approach in the development of prison infrastructure.
Rooted in international legal norms and standards, especially the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules), this manual provides technical guidance and identi es minimum infrastructure recommendations to ensure that prisons respect the human rights and dignity of detained individuals and provide safe, humane and rehabilitative administration of prisons.
In short, the guidance aims to help ll the gap between well-established international expectations for the humane and dignified treatment of prisoners and the relative lack of information on how to build a compliant prison in difficult circumstances.
The technical and operational guidance provided will be most useful to individuals involved in the early stages of planning a prison infrastructure project. By incorporating the various considerations this manual calls to attention, and using the accompanying templates and tools to establish physical and service requirements and a provisional budget, development teams will be able to develop a suf ciently detailed design brief for the more specialized stages of prison design. As shown in Figure 1, the design brief constitutes the initial stage in the life-cycle of a prison facility and is essential in providing a solid foundation for a successful infrastructure outcome.
More generally, the manual is intended to provide instructive and practical guidance to a broad range of individuals involved in the planning and design of prisons, including architects, planners, operational and strategic prison management, government agencies, monitoring bodies, and other personnel involved in the construction or refurbishment of prisons.
Readers should note that the guidance provided is comprehensive in scope but general in its depth: the involvement of design professionals such as civil, structural, and services engineers, architects, and staff experienced in the operation of prisons is indispensable at an early stage of planning. In most operational contexts where this manual is likely to be used, additional consideration of local circumstances will also be necessary.