UNODC has the mandate to assist countries in building and reforming their prison systems, and in implementing non-custodial sanctions and measures in compliance with human rights principles and UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice. UNODC offers assistance in improving legal safeguards for prisoners; introducing and widening the scope of alternatives to pre-trial detention within domestic criminal codes; increasing the scope of alternatives to imprisonment, decriminalizing certain acts, and reducing sentences for selected offences; and supporting offenders and ex-offenders to address their social reintegration needs (including in the area of criminal justice as well as labor, education, and social welfare). The following tools and services can be especially helpful in taking these efforts forward at the local level:


Tools and Services

Prisoner classification and inspection tools for the rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders

Alternatives to Imprisonment for Women Offenders e-learning course

United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (The Bangkok Rules)

UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)

Handbook of Basic Principles and Promising Practices on Alternatives to Imprisonment

Handbook for Prison Leaders: A basic training tool and curriculum for prison managers based on international standards and norms

Handbook on Prisoner File Management

Handbook on Prisoners with Special Needs

Handbook on Women and Imprisonment

Training curriculum on Women and Imprisonment

Handbook on Strategies to Reduce Overcrowding in Prisons

Training Material on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Prison Settings

HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, Treatment and Support in Prison Settings - a framework for an effective national response

Introductory Handbook on the Prevention of Recidivism and the Social Reintegration of Offenders

Handbook on Dynamic Security and Prison Intelligence

Handbook on the Management of High-Risk Prisoners

Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons

Assessing compliance with the Nelson Mandela Rules: A checklist for internal inspection mechanisms

UNODC Roadmap for the Development of Prison-based Rehabilitation Programmes

Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons