UNODC contributes to public safety through supporting prison-based rehabilitation programme in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, 15 November, 2017 -There are about 6, 000 people imprisoned in Kyrgyzstan and only 1,600 prisoners involved in any constructive activities. Criminal recidivism rates remain very high and many offenders, even after severe sentences of imprisonment, repeatedly fail to desist from crime and lead a law-abiding and self-supporting life. Since imprisonment, in itself, is incapable of addressing the offenders' social integration issues it is important to design and deliver effective social reintegration interventions to prevent recidivism and to stop the cycle of failed social integration.

Within the framework of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration and its pillar on fair, humane and effective criminal justice systems, UNODC supports Member States in establishing a more rehabilitative approach to prison management. As the guardian of the UN Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), UNODC is responsible for providing technical assistance and advisory services to Member States in the field of penal reform.

Today, the State Service of Punishment under the Government of Kyrgyzstan and United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime signs an action plan to support implementation of vocational training and income-generating activities in female and male prisons to support bakery as well as shoe and sewing production. Overall UNODC will provide around 135 000 USD to support prison-based rehabilitation programme that will benefit more than 100 prisoners.

"Effective social integration or reintegration programmes are urgently required since they are essential means of preventing recidivism and increasing public safety", said Talaibek Zhaparov, Chairperson of the State Service of Punishment.  "Incarcerated offenders face some very real challenges at the time of their release, and communities become unsafe when offenders with high risk and needs are released without adequate preparation, supervision or support", said Vera Tkachenko, UNODC International Programme Manager.

Investing in offender social reintegration programmes and, in particular, in managing the return of prisoners to the community is crucial for preventing recidivism and contributing to public safety. Most offenders face significant social adaptation issues, which can include family and community stigmatization, and the ensuing negative impact on their ability to find jobs or housing, return to formal education or build or re-build individual and social ties. Unless prisoners receive help to face these issues, they frequently become caught up in a cycle of failed social integration, reoffending, reconviction and social rejection.

UNODC and Prison Service will join efforts to promote and implement effective programmes and measures to supervise and assist offenders and support their social reintegration upon release.

For additional information please contact
Vasilina Brazhko (Ms.)
Communication Officer, UNODC ROCA
Tel.: +996 312 321732, сот. +996 775 98 78 17, email:  vasilina.brazhko[a]