Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Nairobi Declaration?
The Nairobi Declaration is the world's first international declaration aimed at improve detainee access to telecommunications while incarcerated. The declaration links the access to the basic right of free expression to telecommunication access while incarcerated, as this is one of the few ways that detainees are able to freely express themselves. Secondarily, it also correlates this right to the pre-established rights of detainees to food, water, and bedding, putting telecommunication rights on a similar playing field and legal status. And most importantly, it links telecommunication access to the ability for detainees to not only talk with family and legal counsel outside of prison, but also have access to counselling and education services so that detainees can work to better themselves and leave prison rehabilitated and willing to meaningfully contribute to society.
Who Can Endorse the Declaration?
Anyone can endorse the Nairobi Declaration! The declaration is aimed to be a document that promotes the involvement of anyone into the criminal justice reform process, and thus urges anyone willing to support the ideas of the declaration to support the document. If you support any portion of the Nairobi Declaration we urge you to endorse the declaration, and spread the word to others who may be interested. If you are a representative or a member of a broader organisation interested in the ideas of the declaration, we urge you to endorse the declaration in an official capacity as well to further build support around the declaration.
What Does the Declaration Seek to Achieve?
The Nairobi Declaration seeks to enshrine the right of detainee access to telecommunications on an international level similar to other international agreements to help uplift and protect the rights of detainees around the globe. Creating an international declaration with international support allows the declaration to have the political weight behind it to work towards actual change and create new norms of treatment around detainees, so that they can have the best tools necessary to work towards rehabilitation and reintroduction into society once they serve their sentences.
What Has Already Been Done to Promote the Declaration?
Since the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration at the 9th International CURE Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, a flurry of work has been done to promote the declaration. Already, many criminal justice reform NGOs have endorsed the declaration, and there is a movement growing to gain greater international backing of the Nairobi Declaration. Currently Australia and Finland have implemented portions of the declaration, albeit prior to the adoption of the declaration, but many countries are looking towards them for ideas of prison reform, and organisations within both Finland and Australia and working to promote the Nairobi Declaration.
Is it Really a Good Idea to Give Prisoners Access to Technology? Won't They Misuse It?
While this is a genuine concern of some, giving prisoners access to managed and whitelisted telecommunication access can bring the benefits of outside communication and discussions with legal counsel, counselling resources, and education, while creating a closed-off system that prevents malicious communication. Just like existing outside communication via letters, communication will be monitored and managed systems will be created, as already has been done in Finland, allowing for monitoring and punishment of malicious action, and the management of actions to prevent threats from materialising.