Strengthening mutual trust in the European Judicial Area – a Green Paper on the application of EU criminal justice legislation in the field of Detention
Our research comparing the operation of prison systems across Europe has led us to certain conclusions, which we clarify here because they inform our thinking about the questions in the Green Paper. We support the Basic Principles contained in the Council of Europe’s (CoE’s) 2006 revision of the European Prison Rules (EPR), which have already been agreed to by every Member State of the European Union. These state in particular that imprisonment is to be used as a last resort, that the human rights of prisoners are to be respected, that all detention is to be managed with rehabilitation and reintegration to society as its end, and that lack of resources is no justification for infringing prisoners’ human rights. Separate CoE guidelines on the use of pre-trial detention (Rec(2006)13) outline how the use of pre-trial detention (PTD) should take place: again, it is envisaged as a last resort, to be used where no alternative is possible, and to be managed consistently with the legal status of presumed innocence.