In 2002 the rate of imprisonment in The Bahamas was the 11th highest in the world and the conditions in its single prison were notorious throughout the region. The recently elected Government of The Bahamas decided that something had to be done to deal with this situation and established a Prison Reform Commission, composed of independent experts from a wide cross section of the community. ICPS was invited to provide expert assistance.
In autumn 2002 staff of ICPS visited The Bahamas. They met with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, who is responsible for prisons in her capacity as Minister for National Security. They also attended the inaugural meeting of the Prison Reform Commission and accompanied members as they visited Fox Hill Prison. ICPS emphasised the need to consider all prison related matters within an ethical context and made the Commission aware of the extensive body of international human rights instruments which apply in the prison setting. Commission members were encouraged to apply the same professional standards to what they found in the prison as they would anywhere else they worked.
In December 2002 two members of the Commission visited the United Kingdom to look at its experience, particularly in respect of healthcare, education, training and rehabilitation activities in prisons.