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Report on Panel Discussion on ‘Reducing Pre-Trial Detention in the Commonwealth’

Jul 18, 2018

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) releases its report on ‘Reducing Use of Pre-Trial Detention in the Commonwealth’, an outcome of a panel discussion on why and how, and with what effect, countries in the Commonwealth have undertaken reforms to reduce prison populations and improve prison systems.

Almost 15% of the world's prison population is in the Commonwealth countries. A large number of these 1.4 million prisoners await trial, and the average period of detention is increasing each day. Not only does this undermine rule of law and impact fair trial rights but over-use of imprisonment leads to overcrowded and degrading conditions of detention and also imposes enormous costs on public money. Too often, detainees get lost in the system, children get mixed with adults; and prisons are well known for being schools for an education in crime. If left unattended, the persistence of overlong pre-trial detention coupled as it often is with unfair and unwarranted arrests, becomes a factor for perpetuating injustice and anger against the system. Click here for report