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Use of Segregation

ICPA believes that any use of involuntary segregation must always take into account the physical and mental wellbeing of incarcerated persons. The following principles for prisoner segregation are recommended for consideration by correctional agencies for inclusion in agency policy. They are to:

  • Use Segregation only for the minimum time possible until a viable alternative is identified;
  • Ensure segregation is approved by the person in charge of a prison or a duly authorised senior member of staff and that there are regular, documented reviews of the necessity for maintaining a prisoner in segregation;
  • Ensure a suitably qualified medical professional evaluates if a prisoner is fit (physically and mentally) to be placed in segregation within the first 72 hours of admission;
  • Provide a prisoner in segregation with access to the same health care services as all other prisoners in the prison and where there are any concerns expressed by a suitably qualified medical professional, the prisoner is seen on a weekly basis by such a professional;
  • Enable a segregated prisoner unless valid security concerns require otherwise to contact his or her legal counsel and have appropriate means to stay in contact with family (visits, telephone calls);
  • Ensure meaningful human contact with the prisoner by staff members on a daily basis to ensure there is no physical or mental deterioration and that the physical conditions of confinement remain adequate.
  • Offer a segregated prisoner to participate in activities (where possible together with other prisoners) in order to prevent sensory deprivation;
  • If segregation is necessary for matters relating to the particular prison only, the prisoner should be transferred to a prison where these issues do not exist and segregation is not necessary;
  • Transfer a prisoner who requires segregation for medical reasons as soon as possible to a hospital or to a prison designed for dealing with these cases; and
  • Inform the responsible judicial authority periodically about the medical condition of the prisoner where segregation is ordered by that authority. The confinement is to be carried out according to the provisions in the court order. If a prisoner’s medical condition does not allow the continued execution of the court order, the judicial authority is to be informed immediately.

This founding statement of ICPA was approved by the ICPA Board on 26 May 2015 and ratified by the members of the Corporation on the Annual General Meeting Melbourne 27 October 2015