Correctional health: Terminology of importance


Prisons are design to incarcerate criminals. It is important to know the definition of a crime. A crime is an act or failure to act that is by law deemed to be a public wrong. Such a wrong is punished by the state after proof is gained by means of criminal proceedings. Every crime consists of an actus rea and mens rea and this must be proved by the prosecution.


There are rights that have been set out by the European Convention on Human Rights that may not be meddled with, no matter how much public pressure there is to do so. These are

  • Freedom of thought
  • Freedom of conscience
  • Freedom of religion
  • Prohibition on torture, inhumane treatment or punishment
  • Prohibition on degrading treatment or punishment


Juvenile offenders are not allowed to be imprisoned. A juvenile offender is a person between the ages of ten and seventeen years of age. A child 10 to 14 can’t be indicted except for murder


The disclosure by an employee of information regarding his employer’s business. “Gagging clauses” in the employment contract can rendered void if there is