Every prison shall have in place a health-care service tasked with evaluating, promoting, protecting and improving the physical and mental health of prisoners, paying particular attention to prisoners with special health-care needs or with health issues that hamper their rehabilitation.
Soins spécifiques par catégorie de détenu·e·s
In women’s prisons, there shall be special accommodation for all necessary prenatal and postnatal care and treatment. Arrangements shall be made wherever practicable for children to be born in a hospital outside the prison. If a child is born in prison, this fact shall not be mentioned in the birth certificate.
1. A decision to allow a child to stay with his or her parent in prison shall be based on the best interests of the child concerned. Where children are allowed to remain in prison with a parent, provision shall be made for:
(a) Internal or external childcare facilities staffed by qualified persons, where the children shall be placed when they are not in the care of their parent;
(b) Child-specific health-care services, including health screenings upon admission and ongoing monitoring of their development by specialists.
2. Children in prison with a parent shall never be treated as prisoners.
The physician or, where applicable, other qualified health-care professionals shall have daily access to all sick prisoners, all prisoners who complain of physical or mental health issues or injury and any prisoner to whom their attention is specially directed. All medical examinations shall be undertaken in full confidentiality.
1. Persons who are found to be not criminally responsible, or who are later diagnosed with severe mental disabilities and/or health conditions, for whom staying in prison would mean an exacerbation of their condition, shall not be detained in prisons, and arrangements shall be made to transfer them to mental health facilities as soon as possible.
2. If necessary, other prisoners with mental disabilities and/or health conditions can be observed and treated in specialized facilities under the supervision of qualified health-care professionals.
3. The health-care service shall provide for the psychiatric treatment of all other prisoners who are in need of such treatment.
It is desirable that steps should be taken, by arrangement with the appropriate agencies, to ensure if necessary the continuation of psychiatric treatment after release and the provision of social psychiatric aftercare.
A juvenile who is suffering from mental illness should be treated in a specialized institution under independent medical management. Steps should be taken, by arrangement with appropriate agencies, to ensure any necessary continuation of mental health care after release.
1. Gender-specific health-care services at least equivalent to those available in the community shall be provided to women prisoners.
2. If a woman prisoner requests that she be examined or treated by a woman physician or nurse, a woman physician or nurse shall be made available to the extent possible, except for situations requiring urgent medical intervention. If a male medical practitioner undertakes the examination contrary to the wishes of the woman prisoner, a woman staff member shall be present during the examination.
85. With regard to the vulnerability of children deprived of their liberty and policy reform, the Special Rapporteur calls upon all States:
(d) To ensure that paediatricians and child psychologists with trauma-informed training are available on a regular basis to all children in detention, and to establish specialized medical screenings inside places of deprivation of liberty to detect cases of torture and ill-treatment, including access to forensic evaluation;
Persons deprived of liberty shall have the right to health, understood to mean the enjoyment of the highest possible level of physical, mental, and social well-being, including amongst other aspects, adequate medical, psychiatric, and dental care; permanent availability of suitable and impartial medical personnel; access to free and appropriate treatment and medication; implementation of programs for health education and promotion, immunization, prevention and treatment of infectious, endemic, and other diseases; and special measures to meet the particular health needs of persons deprived of liberty belonging to vulnerable or high risk groups, such as: the elderly, women, children, persons with disabilities, people living with HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and persons with terminal diseases. Treatment shall be based on scientific principles and apply the best practices.
Women and girls deprived of liberty shall be entitled to access to specialized medical care that corresponds to their physical and biological characteristics, and adequately meets their reproductive health needs. In particular, they shall have access to gynecological and pediatric care, before, during, and after giving birth, which shall not take place, as far as possible, inside the place of deprivation of liberty, but at hospitals or appropriate institutions. If a child is born in a place of deprivation of liberty, this fact shall not be mentioned in the birth certificate.
In women’s or girls’ institutions there shall be special accommodation, as well as adequate personnel and resources for pre-natal and post-natal care and treatment of women and girls.
It is axiomatic that babies should not be born in prison, and the usual practice in Council of Europe member States seems to be, at an appropriate moment, to transfer pregnant women prisoners to outside hospitals.
Nevertheless, from time to time, the CPT encounters examples of pregnant women being shackled or otherwise restrained to beds or other items of furniture during gynaecological examinations and/or delivery. Such an approach is completely unacceptable, and could certainly be qualified as inhuman and degrading treatment. Other means of meeting security needs can and should be found
It is also essential that the health care provided to persons deprived of their liberty be of a standard equivalent to that enjoyed by patients in the outside community.
Insofar as women deprived of their liberty are concerned, ensuring that this principle of equivalence of care is respected will require that health care is provided by medical practitioners and nurses who have specific training in women's health issues, including in gynaecology.
Moreover, to the extent that preventive health care measures of particular relevance to women, such as screening for breast and cervical cancer, are available in the outside community, they should also be offered to women deprived of their liberty
A mentally ill prisoner should be kept and cared for in a hospital facility which is adequately equipped and possesses appropriately trained staff. That facility could be a civil mental hospital or a specially equipped psychiatric facility within the prison system
All juveniles should be properly interviewed and physically examined by a medical doctor, or a qualifed nurse reporting to a doctor, as soon as possible after their admission to the detention centre; preferably, on the day of arrival. If properly performed, such medical screening on admission should enable the establishment's health-care service to identify young persons with potential health problems (e.g. drug addiction, sexual abuse and suicidal tendencies). The identifcation of such problems at a sufciently early stage will facilitate the taking of efective preventive action within the framework of the establishment's medico-psycho-social programme of care.
It is also widely recognised that detained juveniles have a tendency to engage in risk-taking behaviour, especially with respect to drugs, alcohol and sexual practices, and that they are more likely to engage in self-harm. In consequence, in every detention centre for juveniles, there should be a comprehensive strategy for the management of substance abuse (including prevention and treatment) and the prevention of self-harm and suicide. The provision of health education about transmissible diseases is another important element of a preventive health-care programme. Juveniles with mental-health problems should be cared for by psychiatrists and psychologists specialising in the mental health of children and adolescents.
Particular attention should always be paid to the health-care needs of female juveniles: access to gynaecologists and education on women's health care should be provided. Pregnant juvenile girls and juvenile mothers in detention should receive appropriate support and medical care; as far as possible, alternatives to detention should be imposed. In this regard, the relevant standards on women deprived of their liberty which the CPT elaborated in its 10th General Report apply equally to detained female juveniles.
b. Safeguards for arrest and detention
If arrest, custody and pre-trial detention is absolutely necessary, women and girls shall:
v. Be provided with the facilities and materials required to meet their specific hygiene needs, and offered gender-specific health screening and care which accords with the rights to dignity and privacy, and the right to be seen by a female medical practitioner.
vii. Have access to obstetric and pediatric care before, during and after birth, which should take place at hospitals or other appropriate facilities, and never be subject to physical restraints before, during and after childbirth.
d. Accessibility and reasonable accomodation
States shall take measures to ensure that:
v. The right of persons to informed consent to treatment is upheld.
11. The Committee has emphasized that States parties should ensure that the provision of health services, including mental health services, are based on free and informed consent of the person concerned. In its General Comment No. 1, the Committee stated that States parties have an obligation to require all health and medical professionals (including psychiatric professionals) to obtain the free and informed consent of persons with disabilities prior to any treatment. The Committee stated that, “in conjunction with the right to legal capacity on an equal basis with others, States parties have an obligation not to permit substitute decision-makers to provide consent on behalf of persons with disabilities. All health and medical personnel should ensure appropriate consultation that directly engages the person with disabilities. They should also ensure, to the best of their ability, that assistants or support persons do not substitute or have undue influence over the decisions of persons with disabilities.”
Most prison health policies and services are not designed to respond to women’s specific health needs and fail to account for the prevalence of mental health and substance abuse problems among female prisoners, the high incidence of exposure to different forms of violence, and gender-specific sexual and reproductive health concerns.The provision of appropriate health-care services, including comprehensive, interdisciplinary and rehabilitation-oriented mental health-care programmes, as well as the provision of training and capacity-building to prison staff and health-care personnel to identify specific physical and mental-health needs of female detainees, are key to preventing mistreatment.
Of particular concern are a lack of specialist care, including access to gynaecologists and obstetric health-care professionals; discriminatory access to services like harm-reduction programmes; lack of private spaces for medical examinations and confidentiality; poor treatment by prison health staff; failures in diagnosis, medical neglect and denial of medicines, including for chronic and degenerative illnesses; and reportedly higher rates of transmission of diseases such as HIV among female detainees. The absence of gender-specific health care in detention can amount to ill-treatment or, when imposed intentionally and for a prohibited purpose, to torture. States’ failure to ensure adequate hygiene and sanitation and to provide appropriate facilities and materials can also amount to ill-treatment or even torture. It is essential to engage in capacity-building and adequate training for detention centre staff and health-care personnel with a view to identifying and addressing women’s specific health-care and hygiene needs.
With regard to women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in detention, the Special Rapporteur calls on all States to:
[...] (k) Account for women’s gender-specific health-care needs and provide individualized primary and specialist care, including comprehensive and detailed screenings and prerelease preparations, in a holistic and humane manner, in line with the Bangkok Rules; provide preventive and gender-sensitive care designed to safeguard women’s privacy and dignity, including as regards mental health, sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and treatment and substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation programmes; and ensure that female detainees are examined and treated by female health-care professionals if they so request, except in emergency situations, when female staff should be present; [...]
H) Adopt and implement policies to combat violence, discrimination and other harm on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics faced by persons who are deprived of their liberty, including with respect to such issues as placement, body or other searches, items to express gender, access to and continuation of gender affirming treatment and medical care, and “protective” solitary confinement"
31.1. Foreign prisoners shall have access to the same health care and treatment programmes that are available to other prisoners.
31.2. Sufficient resources shall be provided to deal with specific health problems which may be faced by foreign prisoners.
31.3. Medical and health care staff working in prisons shall be enabled to deal with specific problems and diseases which may be encountered by foreign prisoners.
31.4. To facilitate the health care of foreign prisoners, attention shall be paid to all aspects of communication. Such communication may require the use of an interpreter who is acceptable to the prisoner concerned and who shall respect medical confidentiality.
31.5. Health care shall be provided in a way that is not offensive to cultural sensitivities and requests by foreign prisoners to be examined by a medical practitioner of the same gender shall be granted as far as possible.
31.6. Where possible, psychiatric and mental health care shall be provided by specialists who have expertise in dealing with persons from different religious, cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
31.7. Attention shall be paid to preventing self harm and suicide among foreign prisoners.
31.8. Consideration shall be given to the transfer of foreign prisoners, who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and who wish to be transferred, to a country with which they have close social links.
31.9. Steps shall be taken to facilitate the continuation of medical treatment of foreign prisoners who are to be transferred, extradited or expelled, which may include the provision of medication for use during transportation to that State and, with the prisoners’ consent, the transfer of medical records to the medical services of another State.
33.1. Special measures shall be taken to combat the isolation of foreign women prisoners.
33.2. Attention shall be paid to meeting the psychological and healthcare needs of foreign women prisoners, especially those who have children.
33.3. Arrangements and facilities for pre-natal and post-natal care shall respect cultural and religious diversity.