Prisoner rehabilitation is both key to protecting society from crime as well as helping prisoners be better prepared for their release. Towards this, training and reintegration initiatives, coupled with post-release support, are essential towards reducing recidivism.
Working to this end, UNODC and the Government of Singapore recently conducted a joint regional training workshop on correctional rehabilitation, bringing together some 63 officials from 16 Asian and Pacific Island countries who are integral in their areas for prisoner rehabilitation activities.
Fighting drugs and crime takes place at many levels, and switching from a punitive to a more rehabilitative approach has become a growing trend among prison administrations.
As the guardian of the Nelson Mandela Rules, UNODC puts great focus on the conditions of prisoners, and on contributing solutions to facilitate their smooth reinsertion into society. This important vocation is also one of the four components of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, and one where UNODC, in partnership with Member States, is always trying to cover new ground, with the generous support of the State of Qatar.
Under the slogan 'Enjoy and take care of yourself on the Internet,' the Ministry of Education of El Salvador has launched a national campaign using UNODC educational materials. Developed by the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, the materials included The Online Zoo book and modules designed to assist teachers in early media education as they explain to children the challenges of being online.
Audiovisual and printed materials for schools have been developed as part of the campaign, which itself is based on six thematic areas: cybersecurity, Internet privacy, sexting, grooming, sextortion, and cyberbullying. The campaign aims to inform and prevent the main cybercrimes that affect children, and to emphasize the importance of preserving privacy and safety on the Internet.
At the invitation of UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, in partnership with the organization Worldview Education, more than sixty leading Indian educators met this month in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai for a series of discussions on Model United Nations (MUN), and on E4J's Resource Guide which incorporates crime prevention, criminal justice and other rule of law aspects into MUN conferences.
Stressing the importance of students and teachers in strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Suruchi Pant, Deputy Representative of UNODC's Regional Office for South Asia, noted: "I believe that change for a better tomorrow is only possible if it is championed by young leaders."
The effectiveness of any judiciary depends upon its perceived legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the public. This perception requires not only that the judges uphold the highest standards of integrity and independence, but also that states respect judicial independence and do not undermine judicial decisions.
A successful judiciary is one whose members are appointed following a rigorous process assessing both the candidate's legal qualifications as well as integrity. Different countries' constitutions and other laws provide for different requirements, but it is crucial that only the best people are appointed to judicial positions. Judiciaries should not be politicized - this means that ruling parties should not appoint judges who will be answerable to them and not to the constitution and members of the public.