This Sub-Programme seeks to strengthen the rule of law through the prevention of crime and promotion of fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems. To do this, it provides countries with expertise and advice to develop effective and responsible crime prevention strategies and policies and to build the capacity of their criminal justice systems to operate more effectively within the framework of the rule of law, while promoting human rights and protecting vulnerable groups.

This regional Criminal Justice Programme derives its objective from UNODC's Thematic Programme on crime prevention and criminal justice reform for 2012-2015, setting out a consistent and comprehensive approach based on the Strategic Framework and the relevant UN Conventions and standards and norms related to crime prevention and criminal justice reform.

Since the inception of the Programme in the region, UNODC's Criminal Justice Programme has provided support to countries on crime prevention and criminal justice reform, including in a number of key areas, namely: police reform; strengthening prosecution services and the judiciary; access to legal aid; policy and legislative reform; prison reform and alternatives to imprisonment as well as in the cross-cutting areas of human rights and justice for children.