Court backs United Kingdom over prison rehab

Two prisoners have failed in their human rights protest against prison rehabilitation courses in the United Kingdom.

Dillon v. the United Kingdom (no. 32621/11)
David Thomas v. the United Kingdom (no. 55863/11)

Both cases concerned allegations of delay in access to prison rehabilitative courses.

The applicants are, John Dillon and David Thomas, two British nationals who were born in 1955 and 1968 respectively.

Dillon is currently detained in HMP Whatton and Thomas in HMP North Sea Camp (England). Both men were given indeterminate sentences for the public protectionvfollowing their convictions in 2007 (Dillon) and 2008 (Thomas). They were given tariff periods of four years and one year and 19 days respectively. Their release after the expiry of their tariff periods was subject to the approval of the Parole Board.

Relying in particular on Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security), both applicants complained about the authorities’ failure to put in place the necessary resources to ensure their access to appropriate courses in prison to address their offending behaviour and the impact of this failure on their ability to show the Parole Board that they were rehabilitated and could safely be released.

The European Court of Human Rights found no violation of Article 5 § 1 – in both cases

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