About this project
In 2015, the UN General Assembly passed an updated version of its minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners, now known as the Mandela Rules. These standards help not just to ensure the general well-being of the prison population, but also to prevent torture and ill- treatment, especially where this takes the form of cumulative restrictive or degrading practices. However, these revised Rules still make no mention of the acoustic conditions of detention, even though recent research into the use of music and sound in torture has helped highlight the many ways in which sound and its absence, complete silence, can impact on the psychological and physiological health of detainees.
This project aims to build on this work to gain further knowledge on the impact on health and wellbeing of acoustic conditions of detention. The ultimate goal will be to establish minimum standards not just for custodial institutions, but all other places where vulnerable people are effectively deprived of their liberty, such as immigration detention centres, care homes and some hospitals. The project is led by the musicologist M. J. Grant. Work on the project is due to begin in Autumn 2022.