International Committee of the Red Cross

International Review of the Red Cross - Detention: Addressing the human cost

Article 12 February 2018

The International Review of the Red Cross is pleased to announce the online launch of its new edition “Detention: Addressing the human cost”. In drawing attention to the ongoing challenges associated with detention, the Review seeks to promote the human dignity of detainees. 

The deprivation of liberty carries costs related to the detainee, their family and the community at large. The individual and collective costs of detention are often linked to other, financial costs that authorities are unwilling to incur on behalf of a group of people who are out of sight. This short-term calculation has serious implications for prisoners today, and for our societies in the future. Objectively assessing the human, social, political and financial costs of detention policies is essential to avoid detention becoming part of the problem it was meant to solve.  

In this edition, the Review takes stock of developments in detention practices and policies, and focuses on a range of challenges related to maintaining human dignity in detention, including, for example, overcrowding and aging prison populations.  

Further information about previous and upcoming issues of the Review.