Last week, our International Human Rights Clinic signed-on to a coalition letter totheU.S. government urging constructive engagement in the UN review process of the Standard Minimum Rules (SMR) for the Treatment of Prisoners. The letter encourages the United States government to adopt changes to the SMR proposed by independent experts in a meeting convened by Essex University and Penal Reform International in October. These suggested changes include updating the outdated language and gaps in the SMR and making revisions based on current international standards and norms.
The letter also supports the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recommendation for specific targeted revisions on the use of solitary confinement, as well as the Amnesty International (AI) recommendation to include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds for discrimination in prisons. The letter encourages the United States to be more active in fulfilling its commitment to improving human rights in the U.S. by supporting progressive revisions to the SMR.
The joint letter can be downloaded here.