Separation is a measure applied to help protect the physical and mental integrity of detainees, to better monitor them individually, and to contribute to their rehabilitation. It also facilitates proper prison management.
International standards clearly stipulate that women should be separated from men, minors from adults, untried persons from convicted detainees, and civil detainees from detainees imprisoned for criminal offenses.
The separation between untried and convicted detainees is based on the principle of the presumption of innocence. It also helps to render effective the different prison regimes that should apply to these two categories of detainees regarding matters such as contact with the outside world, work, or access to vocational training.
The principle of separation can be guaranteed by allocating special facilities for the groups concerned, such as women prisons, or by allocating units strictly separate from each other within the same institution. In the absence of specific institutions due to a shortage of material resources or an insufficient number of inmates concerned to justify their creation, persons in the aforementioned categories should be held in a separate building within the prison grounds or in a strictly separate wing with no possible access to other parts of the institution. In such cases, separation must be guaranteed in regard to cells and dormitories, but also to public areas such as prison shops, exercise yards, and workshops. During movements inside the prison, including in relation to transfers, measures should be taken to avoid contact between the separated categories of detainees. In any case, separation measures should not lead to deterioration in the treatment or material conditions of the persons concerned.