UNODC has the mandate to assist countries in building and reforming their prison systems, and in implementing non-custodial sanctions and measures in compliance with human rights principles and UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice. UNODC offers assistance in improving legal safeguards for prisoners; introducing and widening the scope of alternatives to pre-trial detention within domestic criminal codes; increasing the scope of alternatives to imprisonment, decriminalizing certain acts, and reducing sentences for selected offences; and supporting offenders and ex-offenders to address their social reintegration needs (including in the area of criminal justice as well as labor, education, and social welfare). The following tools and services can be especially helpful in taking these efforts forward at the local level.

Tools & Services

Prisoner classification and inspection tools for the rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders

Alternatives to Imprisonment for Women Offenders e-learning course

United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (The Bangkok Rules)

UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)

Handbook of Basic Principles and Promising Practices on Alternatives to Imprisonment

Handbook for Prison Leaders: A basic training tool and curriculum for prison managers based on international standards and norms

Handbook on Prisoner File Management

Handbook on Prisoners with Special Needs

Handbook on Women and Imprisonment

Training curriculum on Women and Imprisonment

Handbook on Strategies to Reduce Overcrowding in Prisons

Training Material on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Prison Settings

HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, Treatment and Support in Prison Settings - a framework for an effective national response

Introductory Handbook on the Prevention of Recidivism and the Social Reintegration of Offenders

Handbook on Dynamic Security and Prison Intelligence

Handbook on the Management of High-Risk Prisoners

Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons

Assessing compliance with the Nelson Mandela Rules: A checklist for internal inspection mechanisms

UNODC Roadmap for the Development of Prison-based Rehabilitation Programmes

Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons

Latest News

The Report on the Urban Safety Governance Assessment in Mathare, Nairobi City - The assessment aimed to identify local challenges and opportunities related to urban safety and good governance and develop appropriate strategies and policies... read more

COVID-19 Response & Complex Emergencies - UNODC co-convened the thematic session: 'Bolstering local action to control the pandemic and accelerate implementation' ahead of the High Level Political Forum 2020... read more

Urban Safety Governance Assessments in Chilanzar - UNODC’s Urban Safety Governance Assessment is currently underway and results of the Assessment are expected in the third quarter of 2020... read more





Related initiatives

Visit the Safety Audit Websites of Queretaro and Cali 

See the Family Skills Training Programmes in low- and middle-income countries

Visit the UNODC Crime Prevention Webpages