UNODC, Kazakhstan Pioneer New Forms of Regional Cooperation to Support Enhanced Prison Security in Tajikistan

20 February 2020, Dushanbe, Tajikistan - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Government of Kazakhstan and the Prison Service under the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan teamed up today at a ceremony for the handover of new security equipment for Tajikistan's penitentiary system.

The procurement of the equipment, which allows for the installation of new alarm systems in prisons in Khudjand and Vakhdad, is the result of a unique regional partnership as part of which UNODC supports measures to improve prison security in Tajikistan with financial support by the Government of Kazakhstan.

"With the support of UNODC and the Government of Kazakhstan, we are now in a position to improve physical security in 2 of our prisons", noted Mansurjon Umarov, Deputy Minister of Justice and Head of the Prison Service of Tajikistan. "Our goal is to maintain security while safeguarding the dignity of those deprived of liberty".

The Government of Kazakhstan provided 287,000 USD for the initiative, which contributes to ensuring the stability and overall security of correctional facilities in Tajikistan. "We are committed to promoting regional cooperation on prison management and other relevant issues that promote security in Central Asia", stressed Rapil Zhoshibayev, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, during his remarks at the handover ceremony.

UNODC has been engaged on a wide range of prison reform initiatives in Tajikistan. In 2019, this resulted in the adoption of a new curriculum for prison staff training and progress on the establishment of new prison rehabilitation programs.

Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia: "UNODC suggests formulation of a comprehensive prison security framework, which goes beyond physical security to look at procedures that must be followed, such as rules relating to prisoners' movement around the prison, the possessions they may keep, searches of prisoners and their accommodation, among others; and dynamic security, which requires an alert staff who interact with prisoners in a positive manner and engage them in constructive activities, allowing staff to anticipate and prevent problems before they arise".

The launch of 2 new schemes for the employment of prisoners in wood and metal production facilities in Dushanbe and Khudjand, as well as a renovated vocational training centre in Khudjand, are foreseen by the end of March 2020.

For more information:

UNODC ROCA on Twitter

UNODC in Central Asia on Facebook