Assessing Compliance with the Nelson Mandela Rules

A Checklist for Internal Inspection Mechanisms

image of Assessing Compliance with the Nelson Mandela Rules

The overall purpose of this checklist is to assist Member States in conducting internal or administrative inspections to assess compliance of their national prison systems with the Nelson Mandela Rules, and thus to facilitate the practical application of the Rules at national level. More specifically, it aims to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of internal inspection systems conducted by the central prison administration as important agents of change now explicitly referred to in the Rules in their task of contributing to the creation of prison conditions and management in line with national law as well as with international standards and norms.



How to use the checklist

As mentioned above, the checklist consists of seven chapters with a total of: (a) 36 positive statements (referred to as expected outcomes) that prisons should strive for; and (b) a list of 241 indicators which will assist in determining whether or not the expected outcomes have been achieved, or whether progress is being made towards their achievement. The indicators constitute the methodological core of the checklist.


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