UNODC Facilitates Development of the Prisoner Risks Assessment and Classification Framework for Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan, January 27-29, 2020 the Workshop on Prisoner Risks Assessment and Classification System organized for prison staff of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The event was conducted by the UNODC in partnership with Prison Committee of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Kazakhstan within the framework of the UN global joint initiative "Supporting the management of violent extremist prisoners and the prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons".

The main purpose of this event is to develop the Prisoner Risks Assessment and Classification Framework for Kazakhstan and its methodology for further implementation by the Prison Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The recommendations proposed by the international experts are based on a detailed situational analysis and country-specific context of penitentiary system of Kazakhstan, obtained primarily through a one-week mission to Nur-Sultan and Karaganda in July 2019.

"The first workshop organized in July 2019, was aimed at raising the awareness of the prison staff of Kazakhstan on basics of the prisoner risks assessment and classification system and its compliance with relevant international standards and norms which are essential in developing country-specific one.

Today, international experts from Canada, UK, Germany and Netherlands shared with promising practices of their countries and presented to workshop participants  a draft structure and methodology of the Prisoner Risks Assessment and Classification System for Kazakhstan to further its tailoring in accordance with national context and criminal legislation of Kazakhstan", noted Madina Sarieva, International Coordinator, UNODC Programme Office in Kazakhstan.

"Good prisoner risks and needs assessment system will allow to identify what level of risks that specific prisoner might cause harm to society and other people. They might have problems with anger management, ideological beliefs, frustration with the state policy, feeling of being treated unfairly, poverty etc. All those risks can be identified on time and addressed properly by providing relevant rehabilitation and support programmes", noted Peter Bennet, International Expert on Prison Reform and Deradicalisation, United Kingdom.

Ben Zengerink, International Expert on Prison and Probation Management, Netherlands highlighted that there is a direct connection between the prisoner risks and needs assessment and public safety. Earlier punishment of offenders was mostly based on retaliation while nowadays we look more at the possibilities to influence their behavior when they return to the society. Thus, we need to know for both the probation and prison services what has to be done to change their behavior so that they would not commit crimes again. The structured and scientifically developed prisoner risks and needs assessment system gives us the tools to develop the proper prison-based rehabilitation programmes and support their social reintegration after release.

The event was attended by representatives of the Prison Committee, Department for Combating Extremism of the Ministry of Interior, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Kostanay Police Academy, Ministry of Information and Public Development of Kazakhstan and other relevant stakeholders. The workshop contributed to enhancing knowledge on best practices of prisoner risks assessment and classification system including violent extremist prisoners. Workshop participants discussed possible models for prisoner risks assessment and classification system in Kazakhstan and agreed on follow up actions to be taken by Prison Committee.

In December 2018, Kazakhstan recognizing the growing threat of extremism and terrorism, was one of the first countries to join the Global UN initiative "Supporting the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons" along with other beneficiary countries such as Tunisia and Uganda. The programme is implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Counter-Terrorism Center and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, with the financial support of the European Union((USD 4,7 Mio.)), the UN Office of Counter Terrorism (USD 3,0 Mio) and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (USD 1,4 Mio.).

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For more information,

please contact Ms. Madina Sarieva,

International Coordinator of UNODC Programme Office in Kazakhstan

at + 7 776 475 7797 or madina.sarieva[at]