Discipline and order shall be maintained with no more restriction than is necessary to ensure safe custody, the secure operation of the prison and a well ordered community life.
The following shall always be subject to authorization by law or by the regulation of the competent administrative authority:
(a) Conduct constituting a disciplinary offence;
(b) The types and duration of sanctions that may be imposed;
(c) The authority competent to impose such sanctions;
(d) Any form of involuntary separation from the general prison population, such as solitary confinement, isolation, segregation, special care units or restricted housing, whether as a disciplinary sanction or for the maintenance of order and security, including promulgating policies and procedures governing the use and review of, admission to and release from any form of involuntary separation.
1. Prison administrations are encouraged to use, to the extent possible, conflict prevention, mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution mechanism to prevent disciplinary offences or to resolve conflicts.
2. For prisoners who are, or have been, separated, the prison administration shall take the necessary measures to alleviate the potential detrimental effects of their confinement on them and on their community following their release from prison.
No prisoner shall be sanctioned except in accordance with the terms of the law or regulation referred to in rule 37 and the principles of fairness and due process. A prisoner shall never be sanctioned twice for the same act or offence.
Prison administrations shall ensure proportionality between a disciplinary sanction and the offence for which it is established, and shall keep a proper record of all disciplinary sanctions imposed.
Before imposing disciplinary sanctions, prison administrations shall consider whether and how a prisoner’s mental illness or developmental disability may have contributed to his or her conduct and the commission of the offence or act underlying the disciplinary charge. Prison administrations shall not sanction any conduct of a prisoner that is considered to be the direct result of his or her mental illness or intellectual disability.
1. No prisoner shall be employed, in the service of the prison, in any disciplinary capacity.
2. This rule shall not, however, impede the proper functioning of systems based on self-government, under which specified social, educational or sports activities or responsibilities are entrusted, under supervision, to prisoners who are formed into groups for the purposes of treatment.
1. Any allegation of a disciplinary offence by a prisoner shall be reported promptly to the competent authority, which shall investigate it without undue delay.
2. Prisoners shall be informed, without delay and in a language that they understand, of the nature of the accusations against them and shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of their defence.
3. Prisoners shall be allowed to defend themselves in person, or through legal assistance when the interests of justice so require, particularly in cases involving serious disciplinary charges. If the prisoners do not understand or speak the language used at a disciplinary hearing, they shall be assisted by a competent interpreter free of charge.
4. Prisoners shall have an opportunity to seek judicial review of disciplinary sanctions imposed against them.
5. In the event that a breach of discipline is prosecuted as a crime, prisoners shall be entitled to all due process guarantees applicable to criminal proceedings, including unimpeded access to a legal adviser.
1. In no circumstances may restrictions or disciplinary sanctions amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The following practices, in particular, shall be prohibited:
(a) Indefinite solitary confinement;
(b) Prolonged solitary confinement;
(c) Placement of a prisoner in a dark or constantly lit cell;
(d) Corporal punishment or the reduction of a prisoner’s diet or drinking water;
(e) Collective punishment.
2. Instruments of restraint shall never be applied as a sanction for disciplinary offences.
3. Disciplinary sanctions or restrictive measures shall not include the prohibition of family contact. The means of family contact may only be restricted for a limited time period and as strictly required for the maintenance of security and order.
1. Health-care personnel shall not have any role in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions or other restrictive measures. They shall, however, pay particular attention to the health of prisoners held under any form of involuntary separation, including by visiting such prisoners on a daily basis and providing prompt medical assistance and treatment at the request of such prisoners or prison staff.
2. Health-care personnel shall report to the prison director, without delay, any adverse effect of disciplinary sanctions or other restrictive measures on the physical or mental health of a prisoner subjected to such sanctions or measures and shall advise the director if they consider it necessary to terminate or alter them for physical or mental health reasons.
3. Health-care personnel shall have the authority to review and recommend changes to the involuntary separation of a prisoner in order to ensure that such separation does not exacerbate the medical condition or mental or physical disability of the prisoner.
Upon admission, every prisoner shall be promptly provided with written information about:
(c) His or her obligations, including applicable disciplinary sanctions [...]
1. The types of conduct of the detained or imprisoned person that constitute disciplinary offences during detention or imprisonment, the description and duration of disciplinary punishment that may be inflicted and the authorities competent to impose such punishment shall be specified by law or lawful regulations and duly published.
2. A detained or imprisoned person shall have the right to be heard before disciplinary action is taken. He shall have the right to bring such action to higher authorities for review.
Any disciplinary measures and procedures should maintain the interest of safety and an ordered community life and should be consistent with the upholding of the inherent dignity of the juvenile and the fundamental objective of institutional care, namely, instilling a sense of justice, self-respect and respect for the basic rights of every person.
All disciplinary measures constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be strictly prohibited, including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health of the juvenile concerned. The reduction of diet and the restriction or denial of contact with family members should be prohibited for any purpose. Labour should always be viewed as an educa- tional tool and a means of promoting the self-respect of the juvenile in preparing him or her for return to the community and should not be imposed as a disciplinary sanction. No juvenile should be sanctioned more than once for the same disciplinary infraction. Collective sanctions should be prohibited.
Legislation or regulations adopted by the competent administrative authority should establish norms concerning the following, taking full account of the fundamental characteristics, needs and rights of juveniles:
(a) Conduct constituting a disciplinary offence;
(b) Type and duration of disciplinary sanctions that may be inflicted;
(c) The authority competent to impose such sanctions;
(d) The authority competent to consider appeals.
A report of misconduct should be presented promptly to the competent authority, which should decide on it without undue delay. The competent authority should conduct a thorough examination of the case.
No juvenile should be disciplinarily sanctioned except in strict accordance with the terms of the law and regulations in force. No juvenile should be sanctioned unless he or she has been informed of the alleged infraction in a manner appropriate to the full understanding of the juvenile, and given a proper opportunity of presenting his or her defence, including the right of appeal to a competent impartial authority. Complete records should be kept of all disciplinary proceedings.
No juveniles should be responsible for disciplinary functions except in the supervision of specified social, educational or sports activities or in self- government programmes.
Punishment by close confinement or disciplinary segregation shall not be applied to pregnant women, women with infants and breastfeeding mothers in prison.
Disciplinary sanctions for women prisoners shall not include a prohibition of family contact, especially with children.
1. At admission, and as often as necessary afterwards all prisoners shall be informed in writing and orally in a language they understand of the regulations governing prison discipline and of their rights and duties in prison.
2. Prisoners shall be allowed to keep in their possession a written version of the information they are given.
3. Prisoners shall be informed about any legal proceedings in which they are involved and, if they are sentenced, the time to be served and the possibilities of early release.
1. Disciplinary procedures shall be mechanisms of last resort.
2. Whenever possible, prison authorities shall use mechanisms of restoration and mediation to resolve disputes with and among prisoners.
1. Only conduct likely to constitute a threat to good order, safety or security may be defined as a disciplinary offence.
2. National law shall determine:
a. the acts or omissions by prisoners that constitute disciplinary offences;
b. the procedures to be followed at disciplinary hearings;
c. the types and duration of punishment that may be imposed;
d. the authority competent to impose such punishment; and
e. access to and the authority of the appellate process.
Any allegation of infringement of the disciplinary rules by a prisoner shall be reported promptly to the competent authority, which shall investigate it without undue delay.
Prisoners charged with disciplinary offences shall:
a. be informed promptly, in a language which they understand and in detail, of the nature of the accusations against them;
b. have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of their defence;
c. be allowed to defend themselves in person or through legal assistance when the interests of justice so require;
d. be allowed to request the attendance of witnesses and to examine them or to have them examined on their behalf; and
e. have the free assistance of an interpreter if they cannot understand or speak the language used at the hearing.
1. Any punishment imposed after conviction of a disciplinary offence shall be in accordance with national law.
2. The severity of any punishment shall be proportionate to the offence.
3. Collective punishments and corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all other forms of inhuman or degrading punishment shall be prohibited.
4. Punishment shall not include a total prohibition on family contact.
5. Solitary confinement shall be imposed as a punishment only in exceptional cases and for a specified period of time, which shall be as short as possible.
6. Instruments of restraint shall never be applied as a punishment.
A prisoner who is found guilty of a disciplinary offence shall be able to appeal to a competent and independent higher authority.
No prisoner shall be employed or given authority in the prison in any disciplinary capacity.
A prisoner shall never be punished twice for the same act or conduct.
1. Disciplinary sanctions
Disciplinary sanctions, and the disciplinary procedures adopted in places of deprivation of liberty shall be subject to judicial review and be previously established by law and shall not contravene the norms of international human rights law.
2. Due process of law
The imposition of disciplinary sanctions or measures and the supervision of their execution shall be the responsibility of competent authorities who shall act in all circumstances in accordance with the principles of due process of law, respecting the human rights and basic guarantees of persons deprived of liberty as enshrined in international human rights law.
3. Measures of solitary confinement
The law shall prohibit solitary confinement in punishment cells.15
It shall be strictly forbidden to impose solitary confinement to pregnant women; mothers who are living with their children in the place of deprivation of liberty; and children deprived of liberty.
Solitary confinement shall only be permitted as a disposition of last resort and for a strictly limited time, when it is evident that it is necessary to ensure legitimate interests relating to the institution’s internal security, and to protect fundamental rights, such as the right to life and integrity of persons deprived of liberty or the personnel.
In all cases, the disposition of solitary confinement shall be authorized by the competent authority and shall be subject to judicial control, since its prolonged, inappropriate or unnecessary use would amount to acts of torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
In cases of involuntary seclusion of persons with mental disabilities it shall be ensured that the measure is authorized by a competent physician; carried out in accordance with officially approved procedures; recorded in the patient’s individual medical record; and immediately notified to their family or legal representatives. Persons with mental disabilities who are secluded shall be under the care and supervision of qualified medical personnel.
4. Prohibition of collective sanctions
The imposition of collective punishments shall be prohibited by law.
5. Disciplinary competence
Persons deprived of liberty shall not be responsible for the execution of disciplinary measures, or for custody or surveillance activities, not excluding their right to take part in educational, religious, sporting, and other similar activities, with the participation of the community, non-governmental organizations, and other private institutions
Restorative confict resolution should be given priority over formal disciplinary procedures and sanctions. Disciplinary sanctions, if applied, should be governed by the principle of proportionality and imposed in full compliance with the relevant formal disciplinary rules and procedures, and not take the form of an unofcial punishment. Any form of collective punishment is unacceptable. In a number of establishments visited by the CPT, it was not uncommon for staf to administer a so-called "pedagogic slap" or other forms of physical chastisement to juveniles who misbehaved. In this regard, the CPT recalls that corporal punishment is likely to amount to ill-treatment and must be strictly prohibited.
The CPT wishes to stress that a juveniles contact with the outside world should never be denied as a disciplinary measure; nor should it be limited unless the disciplinary ofence relates to such contact.
States should have in place, and make known, laws, policies and standard operating procedures, which accord with Member States’ obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international law and standards, to:
e. Set out the use of disciplinary measures against persons in police custody or pre-trial detention in law, policy and standard operating procedures, consistent with the inherent dignity of the person, humane treatment, and limitations on the use of force.
a. v. States shall ensure that disciplinary actions take account of a person’s disability.