12.3.1 Prisons

Effective sanitation and waste management are also important in prisons, jails, and temporary arrest facilities. The transmission of communicable diseases such as diarrhoea, relapsing fever, scabies and typhus is made more likely by overcrowding and poor sanitation and hygiene. Access to safe water, showers, latrines and facilities for washing clothes are essential in a prison. There should also be appropriate solid waste disposal facilities. In addition, conditions in prisons can be improved by the following interventions:

  • A sanitation committee can organise a regular cleaning schedule with the guidance of the prison authorities. Its duty is to plan and execute a cleaning and hygiene day at least once a week. Cleaning interior rooms and the prison compound, washing clothes and personal hygiene are among the priorities to maintain the health of detainees.
  • Checking for the presence communicable diseases through regular prison inspection.
  • An insanitary interior of the prison is attractive for insects such as cockroaches, fleas, lice and bedbugs. New prisoners’ clothing and bodies must be inspected for the presence of these insects when they arrive. High standards of personal hygiene through frequent body washing, maintenance of clean premises and clean clothes should be enforced.
  • The rooms for detention should have an adequate supply of indoor light and fresh air. The surface area of windows should be a minimum of 10% of the floor area in order to admit daylight and adequate air.
  • Overcrowding must be controlled as much as possible because many people living in close proximity with each other in unhygienic conditions leads to the transmission of many communicable diseases.
  • Periodical hygiene education on selected relevant topics.

12.3 Sanitation and waste management in other institutions

12.3.2 Religious institutions