Penal / Corrections Services
Training Resources on Penal Reform and Gender
The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package is a series of practical training materials to help trainers integrate gender in SSR training, and deliver effective gender training to SSR audiences.
It is designed for SSR trainers and educators, and gender trainers working with the security sector, to help you present material on gender and SSR in an interesting and interactive manner. The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package contains a wide range of exercises, discussion topics and examples from the ground that you can adapt and integrate into your SSR or gender training.
Gender-responsive penal reform seeks to:
» Develop responses to offending by men, women, boys and girls, including non-custodial measures carried out in the community that consider their different needs and characteristics
» Improve the planning and delivery of services in prisons (including accommodation, healthcare, security and preparation for release) in a manner that is responsive to the different needs and characteristics of men, women, boys and girls
» Train penal staff in gender issues and human rights in policy and practice
» Strengthen complaint and oversight mechanisms within the penal system by including a gender responsive approach
» Strengthen collaboration with civil society organisations, including women’s groups, in both service and oversight functions
Introduction to SSR
This presentation gives a background on the theory behind the concept Security Sector Reform, as well as an overview of the international efforts within SSR today.
SSR Politics in Training - Interview Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade
What are the "politics of SSR" and how could these dynamics be managed? Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade shares with ISSAT Community members the experience of a training workshop where this aspect was predominant in how the trainees reacted to the knowledge shared with them.
Policy and Research Papers
Bosnia and Herzegovina Justice Sector Reform Strategy 2008 - 2012
The overall objective of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy is to create a joint framework of reform for justice sector institutions in BiH that sets out agreed priorities for the future development of the sector as a whole, as well as realistic actions for reform.
This strategy was created through a joint effort between the ministries of justice of the State of BiH, the entities, and cantons, as well as Brčko District Judicial Commission and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. It is the result of a highly participatory and consultative process that encompassed key justice sector institutions of Bosnia Herzegovina, including representatives of professional associations of judges and prosecutors, bar associations, association of mediators and NGOs. Its aim is to provide a strategic framework for addressing key issues within the justice sector over a five year timeframe.
How to Note: Justice Sector Reform
The purpose of this How to Note is to provide hands-on guidance and inspiration on how to put these strategic priorities into practice in Danish development cooperation.
This How to Note focuses on one particular aspect of the support to the realisation of human rights – building societies based on justice and the rule of law through support to justice sector reform. Danish support to justice sector reform often includes support to formal and informal institutions, and to state as well as non-state actors. Further guidance on how to promote equal access to justice through informal justice systems is provided in a separate How to Note.
Reforming Pakistan's Prison System
This report focuses on a deteriorating criminal justice sector that fails to prevent or prosecute crime and protects the powerful while victimising the underprivileged. Heavily overpopulated, understaffed and poorly managed, prisons have become a fertile breeding ground for criminality and militancy, with prisoners more likely to return to crime than to abandon it.
With outdated laws and procedures, bad practices and poor oversight, the criminal justice system is characterised by long detentions without trial and few distinctions made between minor and major criminals. Prisons have nearly 33,000 more prisoners than authorised, the large majority remand prisoners awaiting or on trial. Given weak accountability mechanisms for warders and prison superintendents, torture and other abuses are rampant and rarely checked. A permissive environment, along with abysmal living conditions, has made prisons a hotbed of drug abuse, violence, and criminality. Illegal detentions by the military, by exacerbating local grievances, also create a fertile ground for militant recruitment, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Haiti - Prison Reform and the Rule of Law
What risk does prison overcrowding, understaffing and insecurity pose for wider security and justice sector reform efforts in Haiti? This policy briefing from the International Crisis Group examines the problems facing the Haitian prison system. It argues that extreme prison overcrowding threatens Haiti’s security and stability. The most urgent need is to relieve existing prisons by using other space temporarily, while supporting the detention commission in accelerating treatment of pre-trial cases. These measures must be accompanied by construction to meet prison requirements for a generation.
Pretrial Detention and Torture: Why Pretrial Detainees face the Greatest Risk
Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are not aberrations. They are common—even routine—in many detention facilities. Of the nearly ten million people in detention (including both pretrial and post-conviction detainees) around the world, those held in pretrial detention are most at risk of torture.
Pretrial detainees are wholly in the power of detaining authorities, many of whom perceive torture as the fastest way to obtain information or a confession and the easiest way to exercise physical and mental control over detainees. The practice is exacerbated by indiscriminate arrests, primarily of poor people without the resources to extricate themselves from detention; criminal justice systems that rely on confessions rather than good policing; official corruption; and public acceptance of torture.
Pretrial Detention and Health: Unintended Consequences, Deadly Results
Pretrial holding facilities in countries with developing and transitional economies often force detainees to live in filthy, over-crowded conditions, where they lack adequate health services. In the worst cases, detainees die; some centers are so bad that innocent people plead guilty just to be transferred to prisons where the conditions might be better.
For many pretrial detainees, being locked away in detention centers where tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and HIV are easily contracted can be a death sentence.
This paper, aimed at health professionals, presents a review of literature on health conditions and health services in pretrial detention in developing and transitional countries. It takes as its point of departure that the negative health impacts of excessive pretrial detention are an important reason to pursue pretrial justice reform.
Its recommendations include calling on health professionals to support monitoring and research efforts on the issues, as well supporting prison health officials and public engagement.
Improving Pretrial Justice: The Roles of Lawyers and Paralegals
On any particular day, around three million people are being held in pretrial detention, and during the course of a year an estimated 10 million people pass through pretrial detention.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the positive impact that early intervention by lawyers and paralegals can have on pretrial justice generally—and on the use of pretrial detention in particular—and to provide a guide to the ways in which lawyer and paralegal schemes can be established. It sets out to demonstrate the benefits not only for the individuals who are advised and assisted, but for the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice systems, and for wider society.
Institutional Assessment of the Police and Justice Sectors
Institutional assessment is often considered to be a first step in the reform or development of institutions. It involves an analysis of various components and stakeholders in an institutional setting and provides a means of identifying the current situation, priority areas for intervention and the various constraints/barriers that could undermine reform efforts. Assessments of this nature usually examine both the overall institutional framework (the rules of the game) and the organisations operating within this institutional context (the players).
This report collates information, guidelines and case study material. Not all of the documents included below directly use the term ‘institutional assessment’, but the processes described, variously referred to as reviews, studies and assessments, broadly pertain to the definition of institutional assessment.
The report includes coverage of a number of donor designed frameworks for assessing the policing and justice sector. According to much of the general academic and policy literature on SSAJ programmes, substantial reform of the police force is only possible when reform of the justice system is administered at the same time. However, whilst the underlying principles for the institutional assessment of policing and justice may be similar, the specific frameworks espoused by donors appear to tackle the institutional assessment of policing and justice separately.
The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013
On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.
This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.
This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.
Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.
Independent Progress Review on the UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections
This report presents the results of an independent review of the progress that the GFP initiative has made since January 2012, conducted at the request of the GFP managers, by a joint research team from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), the Stimson Center and the Folke Bernadotte Academy.
UN Police, Justice and Corrections Programming in Guinea-Bissau - A Compact Case Study
Case studies on police, justice and corrections programming for nine UN complex operations and special political missions were developed by Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations Program at the request of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They are descriptive rather than analytic documents that help to organize, by mission, the issues and activities that the main study, Understanding Impact of Police, Justice and Corrections in UN Peace Operations, treats functionally, across cases, and are summarized in the study’s annexes.
CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti NO. 1
When the new constitution came into effect in 1987, the Haitian security and justice sector was weak and fractured. The army was intent on playing an internal policing role, the judicial system was corrupt and ineffective, and the local and national governance institutions were incapable of asserting democratic civilian control of the sector.
CIGI SSr Monitor. Haiti No. 2
This edition a CIGI SSR Monitor dedicates particular attention to issues related to penal reform and the overarching issue of corruption in the security sector.
MINUSTAH: DDR and Police, Judicial and Correctional Reform in Haiti. Recommendations for change
This paper sets out five recommendations for change of United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti’s (MINUSTAH) mandate on 15 August 2006. In addition it sets out
recommendations for disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR), and police, judicial and correctional reform that can be realised under the current mandate. These recommendations reflect the current situation in Haiti and are based on an analysis of what is feasible and can be realistically implemented given the existing circumstances. The paper highlights changes that are necessary in the immediate future to enhance DDR, police, judicial and correctional reform so as to ensure human security, local ownership, security and stability in Haiti. DDR and rule of law are critical to ensure sustainable peace, therefore these must receive a strengthened and renewed focus from MINUSTAH and the new Haitian government. The international community and the Haitian government should take advantage of the current window of opportunity to promote sustainable reform and reduction of violence in the Haitian context.
Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges Ahead for Haiti and the International Community
The report provides a detailed analysis of three key aspects of administration of justice in the country: law enforcement and the Haitian National Police; the judiciary; and the system of detention facilities and prisons. As part of this analysis, the Commission addresses the particular problem of impunity and lack of public confidence in the justice system as well as the involvement of the international community in Haiti.
Audit of USAID Haiti’s Justice Program
While the justice program has not yet produced measurable improvements in the efficiency or effectiveness of Haiti’s court system, USAID’s contractor has helped lay a basis for future progress in these areas. We were unable to fully determine whether planned results were achieved because USAID/Haiti established baselines and targets to measure only one of its two performance indicators for its justice program activities.
Overview of jamaican Justice System Reform. Issues and Initiatives. Preliminary revised Draft
This document provides an overview of Jamaican justice reform issues and initiatives. It is a preliminary draft based on written sources made available to the author. The accuracy and completeness of this overview document will be verified through consultations with the Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force (JJSRTF) and other key informants and a revised draft will be prepared. It is anticipated that this document will serve as a base document for the reform process and in particular, as a briefing document for members of the JJSRTF, the Working Groups and the Canadian Advisory Committee. This overview is divided into three sections: (I) a list of current justice system reform issues; (II) a list of recent and ongoing justice reform initiatives; and (III) summaries of past justice reform reports and studies (focusing on recommendations that have been made).
Kosovo Criminal Justice Scorecard
The report analyzed the failure to bring to justice many of those responsible for the violence in March 2004. Key factors included: the failure of a special international
police operation disconnected from the rest of the justice system, and ineffective policing generally; an insufficient response to allegations of Kosovo Police Service
misconduct during the riots; passivity on the part of prosecutors; poor case management and lenient sentencing practices in the courts; and inadequate oversight.
Measuring the Impact of Peacebuilding Interventions on Rule of Law and Security Institutions
Since the 1990s, internationally-supported peacebuilding interventions have become increasingly prominent. Activities focusing on rule of law and security institutions are a key component of this agenda. Despite increasing calls for more rigorous analysis of the impact of peacebuilding interventions, conceptual advances have been limited. There is little clarity on what is working, what is not, and why. This SSR Paper seeks to address this gap by mapping relevant approaches and methodologies to measuring impact. It examines how international actors have approached these questions in relation to support to rule of law and security institutions in complex peacebuilding environments. Most significantly, the paper demonstrates that measuring impact is not only feasible but necessary in order to maximise the effectiveness of major international investments in this field.
Available for download at:
Building the Rule of Law in Haiti: New Laws for a New Era
USIP has been working with lawmakers and other reform constituencies in Haiti as they strive to reform Haiti’s criminal laws that date back to the early 19th century. In March
2009, USIP commissioned two reports that were written by Louis Aucoin, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Hans Joerg Albrecht, the director of the Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law. At the request of Haitian lawmakers, USIP has also provided copies of the Model Codes for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice, a law reform tool developed by USIP’s Rule of Law Program to assist in the drafting of new laws.