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Observatory on the Penal System and Human Rights (OSPDH)

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The Observatory on the Penal System and Human Rights (OSPDH) of the University of Barcelona is comprised of lecturers, students, graduates, postgraduates and professionals who work towards a culture of human rights, defend the rights and freedoms of individuals, and strengthen the principles and vales of the democratic rule of law. They achieve this through research and teaching activities, as well as the observation of of institutions in the penal system.

The OSPDH focuses on a number of areas, such as: the expansion of the penal system; the increase in the use of prison sentences; mistreatment and torture; the internment and expulsion of foreigners; gender violence; municipal by-laws on surveillance and public order; the culture of fear; imprisonment of young people and minors; "zero tolerance" policies; "Fortress Europe"; the fragmentation of the penal system into administrative subsystems; emergency policies; the creation of secret and illegal prisons; the formation of cultures of insecurity and of the enemy in rule of law institutions; alternative measures for resolving social conflicts; neighbourhood justice; the role of jurisdiction within the penal system; and the consolidation of cultures of punishment, control and exclusion within state institutions, particularly the penal system.

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