The Ombudsman investigates conditions for newly arrived remand prisoners

The Ombudsman’s monitoring visits to institutions for adults in 2022 have a special focus on how the Prison and Probation Service receives new remand prisoners.

For newly arrived remand prisoners who have not previously been imprisoned, remand prison is their first encounter with the Prison and Probation Service.

Therefore, the Ombudsman will be visiting a number of remand prisons in the course of 2022 in order to investigate how new remand prisoners are being guided on their rights and the conditions of their stay in remand. There will also be a focus on how staff obtain the information necessary in order for the prison to take care of the health and safety of those newly arrived.

‘In relation to the individual remand prisoner, it is important that the information is available and the help and guidance is given that is necessary in order to safeguard their rights and a correct process in connection with remand custody’, says Parliamentary Ombudsman Niels Fenger.

The theme for the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits to institutions for adults in 2022 includes remand prisoners received by the Prison and Probation Service immediately after they have been arrested by the police.

The Ombudsman therefore also visits a number of police districts in order to investigate how the police ensure that persons arrested by the police know their rights, for instance the right to contact relatives and a lawyer. During the visits, there is also a focus on how the police give the Prison and Probation Service relevant information important to the remand prisoners’ safety when they are placed in custody.

The monitoring visits are carried out in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture.

At the end of the monitoring year, the Ombudsman will summarise the most important results in a thematic report.

Further details:

Morten Engberg, Senior Head of Department, tel. +45 33 13 25 12

FACTS

About the investigation

The Ombudsman expects to visit 10 remand prisons in the course of 2022, including Western Prison (Vestre Fængsel) which is the largest remand prison in Denmark. In continuation of the visits to the remand prisons, the Ombudsman will visit the police district(s) which the remand prisons mostly receive remand prisoners from.

About the theme

The theme for the Ombudsman’s monitoring activities in 2022 regarding institutions for adults is the Prison and Probation Service’s reception of newly arrived remand prisoners. There will be a focus on:

  • The remand prison’s handling of:
  • arrival talks and other guidance on rights and guidelines etc., including procurement of information on urgent or other relevant matters of importance to the placement and the inmate’s safety
  • screening for psychiatric conditions
  • information on health services in the remand prison and offer of a talk with a doctor or nurse
  • ensuring inmates’ contact with relatives, lawyer etc.
  • communication of relevant information on transfer of remand prisoners by the police
  • communication of relevant information to and from social services etc.
  • police guidance on and safearding of the rights and safety of detained persons prior to and upon transfer to the Prison and Probation Service.

Generally on the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits

  • Each year, the Ombudsman’s Monitoring Department carries out between 30 and 40 monitoring visits to institutions for adults together with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture. Of these visits, about half are included in an annual theme. The Ombudsman’s Children’s Division carries out monitoring visits to institutions for children and young people.
  • Each year, the Ombudsman chooses themes for the year’s monitoring visits in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture.
  • Find more details about the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits and themes at Monitoring visits and themes.