Date of Decision:11/17/2017
Enquiry initiated by the Parliamentary Ombudsmen regarding inmates with accompanied children, as well as pregnant inmates in prison
In connection to a sequence of Opcat inspections of prisons that receive only women the Parliamentary Ombudsmen observed that the situation for female inmates with accompanied children, as well as pregnant women, was not recognized in a clear and consistent way by the Prison and Probation Service in regards to planning, placement and execution of penalties. An enquiry was initiated to further investigate cases regarding the two categories of inmates.
In the decision, the Parliamentary Ombudsmen directs criticism towards the Prison and Probation Service for not considering the fact that a female inmate cares for an infant or is pregnant, when assessing a suitable placement. The Parliamentary Ombudsmen encourage the Prison and Probation Service to consider adapting placements for inmates with accompanying children, at certain prisons, where the inmates as well as the children’s needs can be met in a satisfactory manner. The Parliamentary Ombudsmen also holds that female inmates with accompanied children should not be referred to only parental leave during their execution. The Prison and Probation Service should look over their routines and develop a cooperation with external actors to be able to offer inmates with accompanied children an acceptable content for the execution in addition to the parental leave. The Parliamentary Ombudsmen states, in regards to pregnant inmates, that prisons, in good time prior to child birth, conduct an assessment in consultation with the relevant obstetric clinic and so forth informs the pregnant woman of all necessary information regarding the planned measures.
The Parliamentary Ombudsmen notes that the Prison and Probation Service has initiated an important assignment to correct failures observed when looking into the authority’s efforts regarding inmates with accompanying children as well as pregnant inmates in prison. The Parliamentary Ombudsmen will conduct a follow up on these questions.