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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2021

Marie Claire Van Hout and Jakkie Wessels

The purpose of the paper was to conduct a legal-realist assessment of the South African prison system response to COVID-19. Severely congested and ill-resourced prison…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper was to conduct a legal-realist assessment of the South African prison system response to COVID-19. Severely congested and ill-resourced prison systems in Africa face unprecedented challenges amplified by COVID-19. South Africa has recorded the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in Africa and, on March 15th 2020, declared a national state of disaster. The first prison system case was notified on April 6th 2020.

Design/methodology/approach

A legal-realist assessment of the South African prison system response to COVID-19 in the 12 months following initial case notification focused on the minimum State obligations to comply with human rights norms, and the extent to which human, health and occupational health rights of prisoners and staff were upheld during disaster measures.

Findings

A legal-realist account was developed, which revealed the indeterminate nature of application of South African COVID-19 government directives, ill-resourced COVID-19 mitigation measures, alarming occupational health and prison conditions and inadequate standards of health care in prisons when evaluated against the rule of law during State declaration of disaster.

Originality/value

This legal-realist assessment is original by virtue of its unique evaluation of the South African prison system approach to tackling COVID-19. It acknowledged State efforts, policymaking processes and outcomes and how these operated within the prison system itself. By moving beyond the deleterious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already precarious South African prison system, the authors argue for rights assurance for those who live and work in its prisons, improved infrastructure and greater substantive equality of all deprived of their liberty in South Africa.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Rosemary Mhlanga-Gunda, Stephanie Kewley, Nehemiah Chivandikwa and Marie-Claire Van Hout

The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region remains at the epicentre of the HIV epidemic and disproportionately affecting women, girls and prisoners. Women in prison are a…

Abstract

Purpose

The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region remains at the epicentre of the HIV epidemic and disproportionately affecting women, girls and prisoners. Women in prison are a minority group and their special health needs relating to gender sensitivity, reproductive health, their children and HIV/AIDs are frequently neglected. Our study responded to this need, and aimed to investigate the issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study using focus group discussions and key informant interviews explored the perspectives of women in prison, correctional officers, correctional health professionals and non-governmental organisations around prison conditions and standards of health care while incarcerated in a large female prison in Zimbabwe. Narratives were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The three key themes that emerged are as follows: “Sanitation and hygiene in the prison”, “Nutrition for women and children” and “Prison-based health services and health care”. Divergence or agreement across perspectives around adequate standards of sanitation, hygiene, quality and adequacy of food, special diets for those with health conditions, access to health care in prison and the continuum of care across incarceration and community are presented.

Practical implications

Understanding prison environmental cultures which shape correctional staff’s understanding and responsiveness to women in prison, environmental health conditions and access to health care are vital to improve conditions and continuum of care in Zimbabwe.

Originality/value

Policy and technical guidance continues to emphasise the need for research in SSA prisons to garner insight into the experiences of women and their children, with a particular emphasis on the prison environment for them, their health outcomes and health-care continuum. This unique study responded to this need.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2021

Marie-Claire Van Hout and Des Crowley

The incarceration of transgender people is described as a “double punishment” based on lack of gender recognition and ability to gender affirm, and with their experiences…

Abstract

Purpose

The incarceration of transgender people is described as a “double punishment” based on lack of gender recognition and ability to gender affirm, and with their experiences and conditions in prison tantamount to torture. The purpose of this study is to illustrate the continued “double punishment” of incarcerated transgender people (in particular trans-women) and identify and describe breaches in human and gender rights and minimum standards of care.

Design/methodology/approach

There is limited global data on the numbers of incarcerated transgender people, an identified vulnerable prison group. There are inherent difficulties for prison authorities regarding placement, security aspects and management of transgender persons. While the concerns apply to all transgender prisoners, the current literature focusses mainly on transgender women and this commentary reflects this present bias. A socio-legal approach describes and evaluates international human rights’ conventions and human rights’ law, soft law instruments mandating non-discriminatory provisions in the prison setting and relevant European and domestic case law.

Findings

Transgender prisoners experience an amplification of trauma underpinned by lack of legal gender recognition, inability to gender-affirm, discrimination, transphobia, gender maltreatment and violence by other prisoners and prison staff. Despite obligations and recommendations in international human rights’ instruments and standard operating procedures at the prison level, very few countries are able to fully uphold the human rights of and meet the needs of transgender people in prison.

Originality/value

This study is important as it highlights the dearth of knowledge exploring human rights discourses and concerns related to the phenomenon of incarcerated transgender persons. It uniquely focusses on European and domestic law and illustrates the inherent tensions between human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity rights and security considerations regarding transgender issues in prisons. Rights assurances centre on the principles of equality, dignity, freedom of expression, dignified detention and the prohibition of inhumane treatment or punishment.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2021

Marie Claire Van Hout and Jakkie Wessels

The global spotlight is increasingly shone on the situation of women in the male-dominated prison environment. Africa has observed a 24% increase in its female prison…

Abstract

Purpose

The global spotlight is increasingly shone on the situation of women in the male-dominated prison environment. Africa has observed a 24% increase in its female prison population in the past decade. This year is the 10-year anniversary of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) adopted by the General Assembly on 21 December 2010.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a legal realist approach, this paper examines South Africa’s progress in adopting the Bangkok Rules. This paper documents the historical evolution of the penal system since colonial times, focused on the development of recognition, protection and promotion of human rights of prisoners and an assessment of incarcerated women’s situation over time.

Findings

The analysis of the human rights treaties, the non-binding international and regional human rights instruments, African court and domestic jurisprudence and extant academic and policy-based literature is cognizant of the evolutionary nature of racial socio-political dimensions in South Africa, and the indeterminate nature of application of historical/existing domestic laws, policies and standards of care when evaluated against the rule of law.

Originality/value

To date, there has been no legal realist assessment of the situation of women in South Africa’s prisons. This paper incorporates race and gendered intersectionality and move beyond hetero-normative ideologies of incarcerated women and the prohibition of discrimination in South African rights assurance. The authors acknowledge State policy-making processes, and they argue for substantive equality of all women deprived of their liberty in South Africa.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2012

Rebekah Brennan and Marie Claire Van Hout

Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant drug causing entactogenic and hallucinogenic effects. A systematic review of all existing empirical research and literature from…

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Abstract

Purpose

Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant drug causing entactogenic and hallucinogenic effects. A systematic review of all existing empirical research and literature from 2009‐2012 on this new psychoactive drug was conducted. This paper aims to report on that review.

Design/methodology/approach

The review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. Electronic databases were utilised using the search terms “mephedrone” and product nomenclature; “Plant Food”, “Feeder”, “Meow Meow”, “Miaow”, “Drone”, “Meph” “Bubbles”, “Charge”, and “MCat”. The search was restricted to publications from 2009‐2012, and produced 702 results. Data were collected by one member of the research team and cross checked by another. A primary screening was carried out to exclude inaccurate search results and drugs other than mephedrone. The results were studied and duplicates removed; 598 results were discarded, with 104 deemed suitable for inclusion.

Findings

The review underscores mephedrone's popularity despite legislative controls. Drug displacement patterns from illicit to licit were observed prior to controls, with blending of mephedrone and other substitute cathinones with street drugs thereafter. User consumptive choices are grounded in availability, perceptions of legality and safety, curiosity and perceived quality of drug outcomes within poly drug taking repertoires. Clinical reports indicate that mephedrone has high abuse potential and toxicity, with several dependence symptoms. Risk assessment, detection, diagnosis and treatment of mephedrone use are difficult due to polydrug use and associated mental health disorders.

Research limitations/implications

The review points to the need for further research into the pharmacology and toxicity of mephedrone in order to better equip clinicians with assessment, diagnosis and treatment strategies to reduce morbidity.

Practical implications

The increasingly diversified new psycho stimulant market where mephedrone is a major player poses unprecedented challenges for drug surveillance, policy, community and clinical practice.

Social implications

Stricter legislative controls including internet vendor responsibility for supply of mephedrone have been suggested, along with raising public awareness on an international level through coordinated efforts.

Originality/value

The last review was published in 2009 by the Psychonaut Webmapping Group. This review brings together a comprehensive new set of data sources as they relate to this drug.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Luis Gadama, Chrissie Thakwalakwa, Chimwemwe Mula, Victor Mhango, Chikosa Banda, Stephanie Kewley, Alyson Hillis and Marie-Claire Van Hout

Sub-Saharan African prisons have seen a substantial increase in women prisoners, including those incarcerated with children. There is very little strategic literature…

Abstract

Purpose

Sub-Saharan African prisons have seen a substantial increase in women prisoners, including those incarcerated with children. There is very little strategic literature available on the health situation and needs of women prisoners and their circumstantial children in Malawi. The study aims to explore this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative exploratory study using in-depth key informant interviews with senior correctional stakeholders (commissioner of prison farms, senior correctional management staff, senior health officials and senior officers in charge) (n =5) and focus group discussions (FGD) with women in prison of age between 18 and 45 years (n =23) and two FGD with correctional staff (n =21) was conducted in two prisons in Malawi, Chichiri and Zomba. Narratives were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Three key themes emerged and are as follows: “hygiene and sanitary situation across multiple prison levels and subsequent health implications for women”; “nutritional provision and diets of women and children in prison”; and “women’s access to prison-based and external health services”. Divergence or agreement across perspectives around sanitation and disease prevention, adequacy of nutrition for pregnant or breast-feeding women, health status and access to prison-based health care are presented.

Practical implications

Garnering a contemporary understanding of women’s situation and their health-care needs in Malawian prisons can inform policy and correctional health practice change, the adaptation of technical guidance and improve standards for women and their children incarcerated in Malawi.

Originality/value

There is a strong need for continued research to garner insight into the experiences of women prisoners and their children, with a particular emphasis on health situation.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2020

Marie-Claire Van Hout, Cassie Lungu-Byrne and Jennifer Germain

Many migrants are detained in Europe not because they have committed a crime but because of lack of certainty over their immigration status. Although generally in good…

Abstract

Purpose

Many migrants are detained in Europe not because they have committed a crime but because of lack of certainty over their immigration status. Although generally in good physical health on entry to Europe, migrant detainees have complex health needs, often related to mental health. Very little is known about the current health situation and health care needs of migrants when detained in European immigration detention settings. The review aims to synthesize the qualitative literature available on this issue from the perspectives of staff and migrants.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors undertook a synthesis of extant qualitative literature on migrant health experience and health situation when detained in European immigration detention settings; retrieved as part of a large-scale scoping review. Included records (n = 4) from Sweden and the UK representing both detainee and staff experiences were charted, synthesised and thematically analysed.

Findings

Three themes emerged from the analysis, namely, conditions in immigration detention settings, uncertainties and communication barriers and considerations of migrant detainee health. Conditions were described as inhumane, resembling prison and underpinned by communication difficulties, lack of adequate nutrition and responsive health care.

Practical implications

It is crucial that the experiences underpinning migration are understood to respond to the health needs of migrants, uphold their health rights and to ensure equitable access to health care in immigration detention settings.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of qualitative research in this area because of the difficulty of access to immigration detention settings for migrants. The authors highlight the critical need for further investigation of migrant health needs, so as to inform appropriate staff support and health service responses.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2021

Alyson Hillis, Conan Leavey, Stephanie Kewley and Marie Claire Van Hout

This paper aims to contribute to sex tourism literature by placing it into a contemporary context of globalisation, harm reduction and disease migration.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to sex tourism literature by placing it into a contemporary context of globalisation, harm reduction and disease migration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a public health and social science approach to map sex tourism, drawing on sex worker and tourist situations alongside global forces including technology, human rights, law enforcement and health.

Findings

A new, holistic conceptual model is presented, containing interacting, multi level associations. Whilst the separate micro, contextual, meso and macro levels are versatile, decision makers and practitioners will be equipped to understand sex tourism in its entirety.

Originality/value

The paper’s originality is found in the proposed conceptual model.

全球化、减害和疾病迁移时代的性旅游:一种新的概念模型

设计/方法/途径

该论文采用公共卫生和社会科学方法, 利用性工作者和旅游者的情况以及包括技术、人权、执法和健康在内的全球力量, 分析了性旅游的状况。

目的

本文将性旅游文献置于全球化、减少危害和疾病迁移的当代背景下, 为性旅游文献做出了贡献。

结果

本文提出了一个新的、整体的概念模型, 包含相互作用的多层次关联。虽然单独的微观、背景、中观和宏观层面是多变的, 但决策者和从业者将可以全面的了解性旅游。

原创性/价值

该论文的独创性体现在提出的概念模型中。

El turismo sexual en la era de la globalización, la reducción de daños y la migración de enfermedades: un nuevo modelo conceptual

Objetivo

Este artículo contribuye a la literatura sobre el turismo sexual situándolo en el contexto contemporáneo de la globalización, la reducción de daños y la migración de enfermedades.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

El documento adopta un enfoque de salud pública y ciencias sociales para delimitar el turismo sexual, basándose en las situaciones de los trabajadores del sexo y los turistas junto con las fuerzas globales, como la tecnología, los derechos humanos, la aplicación de la ley y la salud.

Conclusiones

Se presenta un nuevo modelo conceptual holístico que contiene asociaciones interactivas de varios niveles. Mientras que los niveles micro, contextual, meso y macro separados son versátiles, los responsables de la toma de decisiones y los profesionales estarán equipados para entender el turismo sexual en su totalidad.

Originalidad/valor

La originalidad del artículo se encuentra en el modelo conceptual propuesto.

Investigación

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Marie Claire Van Hout

The purpose of this paper was to conduct a legal realist assessment of women’s situation in European immigration detention which focuses on relevant international and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to conduct a legal realist assessment of women’s situation in European immigration detention which focuses on relevant international and European human rights instruments applicable to conditions and health rights in detention settings, academic literature and relevant European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) jurisprudence since 2010.

Design/methodology/approach

In spite of the United Nations human rights frameworks and European Union (EU) standards, conditions in European immigration detention settings continue to pose a health risk to those detained. Migrant health rights when detained are intertwined with the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention, detention in conditions compatible for respect for human dignity and right to medical assistance. Migrant women are particularly vulnerable requiring special consideration (pregnant and lactating women; single women travelling alone or with children; adolescent girls; early-married children, including with newborn infants) in immigration detention settings.

Findings

The situation of women in immigration detention is patchy in EU policy, academic literature and ECtHR jurisprudence. Where referred to, they are at best confined to their positionality as pregnant women or as mothers, with their unique gendered health needs ill-resourced. ECtHR jurisprudence is largely from male applicants. Where women are applicants, cases centre on dire conditions of detention, extreme vulnerability of children accompanying their mother and arbitrary or unlawful detention of these women (with child).

Originality/value

Concerns have been raised by the European Parliament around immigration detention of women including those travelling with their children. There is a continued failure to maintain minimum and equivalent standards of care for women in European immigration detention settings.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2011

Marie Claire Van Hout and Rebekah Brennan

This exploratory research aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the strategic roles and incidental or deliberate sex drug associations relating to an emerging…

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Abstract

Purpose

This exploratory research aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the strategic roles and incidental or deliberate sex drug associations relating to an emerging club drug called Mephedrone.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative phenomenological approach was utilized to analyze 22 in depth interviews in order to describe users' perceptions of this drug's impact on their sexual ideation and practises, while under the influence.

Findings

The finds that disinhibition involving compulsive masturbation, homosexual fantasies in heterosexuals, propositioning of strangers, promiscuity, prolonged marathon drug‐sex encounters involving casual/multiple partners and unsafe sexual practices [UAS/UVS] were all common, with gender differences present in terms of perceived connectivity with partners.

Originality/value

The research underscores the need for greater public health awareness and targeted drug‐sex interventions.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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