Taking into account the multiple factors that contribute to the prison crisis as well as UNODC’s mandate areas in crime prevention and criminal justice, this Global Prison Challenges Programme bolsters up the work of UNODC in the field of criminal justice reform, ensuring a coordinated approach to its technical assistance provision and focusing on three strategic areas:

(i) reducing the scope of imprisonment and preventing crime;

(ii) strengthening prison management and improving prison conditions; and

(iii) supporting the social reintegration of offenders and preventing recidivism.

Strategic objective 1: includes activities in the field of crime prevention to reduce the number of persons who come into conflict with the law; access to legal aid to reduce the pre-trial prison population and to accelerate legal proceedings; and on enhancing the resort to non-custodial sanctions to ensure that imprisonment is used as a last resort and that alternative measures are available in suitable cases.

Strategic objective 2: the core of the Programme to support compliance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) in prisons, be it through legislative reform; capacity-building in different fields of prison management [such as prison staff training; safety and security measures; guidance on the treatment of prisoners with special needs, but also those assessed to be of particular risk; including violent extremist prisoners as well as technical issues of prison management, etc.]; as well as penitentiary health care in close cooperation with our colleagues from UNODC’s Health Branch.

Strategic objective 3: Key to support the prospects of prisoners to lead a law-abiding and self-supporting life upon release, both through prison-based rehabilitation programmes as well as through after-care and post-release support services.

The programme is co-implemented in close coordination with the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, in particular its components on crime prevention and on prisoner rehabilitation, for which the Justice Section is responsible.