Penal reform

  • Date / 1972
  • Ratifying Body / Board of Directors
  • Status / Current

The IHEU strongly supports international movements for penal reform. We do not deny that modern states need prisons of one kind or another, but we assert that basic human rights extend also to those found guilty of crime. The aim of imprisonment should be rehabilitation as well as the protection of society. This is not merely a matter of justice for the criminal; society itself gains from the proper practice of justice.
We therefore urge the adoption of a universal bill of rights for the inmates of prisons and corrective institutions, as follows:
Prisoners should:

  1. Not be denied their political and civil rights
  2. Not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment
  3. Be accorded full and due judicial process
  4. Be given the fullest possible means and opportunity for education
  5. Permitted co-habitation
  6. Receive a proper minimum wage for labour properly performed in conditions of human dignity.


Board of Directors 1972

Suggested academic reference

'Penal reform', Humanists International, Board of Directors, 1972

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