Indonesia's 450 prison facilities currently house over 250,000 prisoners - the mere number indicating the challenge with which the prison administration is faced in ensuring their safe, secure and humane custody. In running these, the country's Directorate-General of Corrections (DGC) is presented with additional issues, such as severe overcrowding, staff shortages, and - an aspect which is often less well known among the general public - the task of preparing prisoners for their eventual social reintegration into society. This undertaking, however, is crucial, as it is rooted in the understanding that imprisonment alone is incapable of addressing the social reintegration needs of offenders, and that without educational and vocational training programmes, many prisoners fall into the cycle of re-offending upon release.
As part of UNODC's work in promoting sport as a valuable tool for youth crime prevention, sports and education experts from ten different countries met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in late-November. With participants from across the globe attending, the study visit served as an ideal opportunity to bring together a diverse group in order to share best practices and familiarize them with the methodology of UNODC's life skills sports-based training programme - Line Up Live Up.
The week featured a series of interactive presentations, roundtable discussions and site visits to observe innovative ways to engage at-risk youth by using sport as a vehicle for both diversion and social-change.
International standards stipulate that imprisonment should not be limited to the deprivation of liberty. Rather, it should include opportunities for prisoners to obtain the knowledge and skills that can assist them in their successful reintegration upon release, with a view to avoiding future offending. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) call for the provision of rehabilitation programmes in prisons that foster the willingness and ability of prisoners to lead law-abiding lives upon release. As the guardian of the Nelson Mandela Rules, UNODC has published a new handbook to provide a series of practical steps for prison administrators in order to assist them in developing high-quality and sustainable rehabilitation programmes that meet international standards and norms.
As the guardian of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), UNODC has a long history of providing technical assistance and advisory services to the Member States in the field of prison reform. Its Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, therefore, includes a dedicated component on strengthening the rehabilitation of prisoners, including their social reintegration upon release.
The Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) and the General Directorate of Penitentiary Institutions of Kyrgyzstan have recently become amongst the national prison administrations that will receive technical support from UNODC to enhance the range and quality of rehabilitation programmes.
UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative held its third hackathon (or coding challenge) in Indonesia, through its Country Office in Jakarta. The event - #Hack4Justice - saw some 30 secondary school students between the ages of 13 and 18 gather in Jakarta, Indonesia to battle it out at the keyboard and show off their ideas and talent in developing educational games focussing on justice and rule of law issues.
Organized in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Education, the hackathon feeds into the development of a series of interactive tools to help students learn about these issues as part of the organization's Global Programme for the implementation of the Doha Declaration. With secondary school students as the ultimate consumers of the final games, the hackathons present an ideal opportunity to involve them right from the start - and to gauge the approaches youth would take to teach justice values among their peers.