Message from the Chair
This is a quick e-update and summary from this year’s annual International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) conference, held in Montréal on October 21-26, 2018.
One of the opening plenary sessions at this year’s ICPA conference was a panel on prison oversight and human rights, which was organized in conjunction with the launch of the
Expert Network on External Prison Oversight and Human Rights
This inaugural event was very well attended, well received, and certainly generated interest. The Expert Network now consists of 69 members from 18 countries representing the Americas, Oceania, Europe, Africa, and East Asia!
This newsletter features links to presentations from three panel members with distinct oversight models: Inspector General (
), prison Inspectorate (
) and prison Ombudsman (
). Also included in this newsletter is a compelling article by
on the benefits associated with prison oversight and the status of prison oversight in the United States.
A meeting organized for ICPA Expert Networks also generated a great deal of interest. I expected the meeting to attract just a few members from our network present at the conference, but well over 30 people attended! We completed a round table introduction and found out that effective prison oversight is an important issue for not only those in the business of prison oversight, but also for those who are subject to our oversight. Many representatives from correctional authorities attended and spoke about human rights compliance and the importance of prison oversight to ensure openness, transparency and accountability. This is very encouraging.
I attended a meeting with Peter van der Sande, President of ICPA, and the other five chairs of the other ICPA Expert Networks (Planning & Design, Staff Training & Development, Community Corrections and Research & Development). We all agreed that more time is required for the networks to meet at annual ICPA conferences. It is also evident that our Expert Network will need to host two separate meetings – one meeting for members representing oversight agencies, and another for all members and anyone else interested in our work. This will allow members of oversight agencies an exclusive forum for discussion, as well as extend an opportunity for broader dialogue among all members and correctional authorities.
As for the next steps, the next official e-newsletter will be published in March/April 2019 and will focus on solitary confinement. If you are interested in contributing an article on this theme, please send me an email at
. I will also look for a jurisdiction to be in our “Featured Jurisdiction” section (2 or 3 articles providing readers with a good overview on how prison oversight is conducted in a particular country). Finally, please mark your calendars for next year’s ICPA annual conference, which will be held in
Buenos Aires in October 2019
Ivan Zinger, Correctional Investigator of Canada.