In many countries in the region, resources allocated to the administration and management of prisons are insufficient even to meet basic needs. This translates into prison overcrowding, long pre-trial detention, unduly harsh prison conditions, and lack of effective rehabilitation programmes. Alternatives to imprisonment are generally less costly than custodial arrangements for prisoners and are also more effective in addressing specific problems that may have contributed to the criminal behaviour in the first place, e.g. drug dependence.
UNODC has developed a wide range of tools to support Member States who wish to reform prison systems, including through undertaking legislative and regulatory reform, improving prison management practices and capacities, protecting vulnerable groups, and promoting human rights.
UNODC works with Member States and their relevant institutions to:
- Strengthen legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks;
- Develop and improve frameworks for parole and probation; and
- Establish standards for prison staff training and skill development.