Prison Insider is an information platform on prisons in the world. Its objective is to inform, compare and share testimonials on conditions of detention, with regards to fundamental rights. Its work contributes to the fight against torture and the prevention of human rights violations.
The platform collects, verifies and synthesizes existing data. It produces knowledge and makes it accessible to the greatest number of people - in accessible language and in English, French and Spanish. All our information is made public via our website, with dissemination via newsletters and social media. Prison Insider also facilitates a diversified network of actors involved throughout the world.
Its purpose is to make information available for action.
While prison environments are often opaque, Prison Insider offers rigorous, independent and accessible information about detention conditions.
Information about prisons is difficult to obtain and share. All public policies or practices must be informed with knowledge, if they are to be evaluated and expected to evolve. Prison Insider aims to provide a centralized source of factual, detailed and up to date information.
The criminal policy of governments dictates to what extent the country relies on imprisonment: the same causes do not have the same effects. The fate of prisoners will vary considerably from one prison to another, from one country to another, and sometimes within the same facility. Life in prison is decisively influenced by a number of factors. This depends on whether the premises are well-organised or dilapidated, whether family ties are maintained, whether there is access to health care, legal support, training and work opportunities. It also depends on the exposure to inhumane or degrading treatment.
Prison Insider provides country profiles containing factual, sourced and up-to-date information. These profiles offer a representative snapshot of the legislative framework and detention conditions at the national level: criminal policy and its implementation, prevailing practices.
Prison Insider offers a tool for comparing data about prison conditions in different countries. All the information can be accessed and filtered by country and by topic to focus the research on a particular topic or geographic region.
The thematic papers explore themes such as the conditions of detention of persons sentenced to death, the consequences of Covid-19 in prison and the care of individuals suffering from mental disorders in prison.
Prison Insider takes a multimedia approach to information and combines factual and artistic elements. The site offers diverse contents for diverse audiences. The reader must be made able to see prison through the eyes of those who experience it. Testimonials go beyond technical aspects of detention, putting human experience at the heart of the narrative. They provide words, stories and images to describe the detention conditions experienced by millions of people. Written accounts, video testimonials, portfolios and photos shared by prisoners: they all create a fuller picture.
Bernard Bolze, founder of the International Observatory on Prisons (OIP), is behind the creation of Prison Insider.
Prison Insider was created in 2015. It stemmed from the desire to combine different types of experience and expertise towards the achievement of shared goals: raising awareness about the detention conditions of those in prison and advocating for their dignity and fundamental rights.
Bernard Bolze founded the International Prison Observatory (OIP), to create a modern information format. Six annual reports on prison conditions in the world were published between 1993 and 1998. 15 years after OIP’s international dimension was abandoned, economic, community, institutional and university stakeholders came together under Bernard Bolze to set up Prison Insider. Their work led to the launch of www.prison-insider.com in 2017: an online platform in three languages (English, French and Spanish).
Prison Insider is an association under French law. Its articles of association were registered at the Préfecture of Rhône in Lyon, France, on August 31 2015.
The co-founders: Florence Alligier, Julie André, Romain Balcerak, Alexandre Belkowski, Bernard Bolze, Aurélie Chastel, Alexandre Delavay, Emilie Deudon, Nathalie Fudge, Marc Giouse, Clara Grisot, Elsa Hajman, Marie Hanotte, Eric Jayat, Judith Le Mauff, Milena Le Saux-Mattes, Sylvain Lhuissier, Robert Ohayon, Temur Sharopov, Julien Villalard.