Kazakhstan Prison Service rolls out UNODC’S Interactive E-Learning Course on the Nelson Mandela Rules 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Prison Committee under the Ministry of Interior of Kazakhstan are working together to enhance prison staff training. As of today,  more than 500 prison officers have taken the e-learning course on the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. This course enabled the prison staff to better understand and apply the Nelson Mandela Rules as the universally acknowledged minimum standards for the management of prisons and the treatment of prisoners.

Dissemination of the e-learning course on the Mandela Rules is combined with online training on specific topics, such as the management of violent extremist prisoners and prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons. Given the restrictions on face to face training during the COVID-19 pandemic, UNODC facilitated a four-day webinar on the prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons of Kazakhstan on 18-21 May 2020.  Up to 20 prison officers from Pavlodar region took part in the webinar, which covered topics, ranging from the applicable legislative framework and risks assessment of violent extremist prisoners to the planning of prison-based disengagement programs.

The online training is provided through the Prison Staff Training Centre on Preventing Violent Extremism in Prisons, which UNODC recently helped set up at the Kostanay Police Academy in Kazakhstan. It was taught by a group of national trainers trained in Kostanay Police Academy based on three training modules targeting three different categories of prison staff: psychologists, PVE inspectors and security officers. The modules are derived from UNODC’s Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons, which were adapted to fit the training curriculum for prison officers in the Kostanay Police Academy. This was the third batch going through this training at the Centre this year following two courses held in February 2020. This brings the total number of prison officers trained to 56 (11% women) with another 150 slated to participate in additional sessions at the new training center later this year.

Activities on capacity development of prison officers are implemented within the framework of the joint global UN (UNODC-UNCCT-UNCTED) initiative “Supporting the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons” co-funded by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands and the UNOCT.