United Nations System Common Position on Incarceration

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The present paper sets forth the United Nations system common position on incarceration. It addresses prison and associated challenges at the global, regional and national levels and constitutes the common framework for United Nations support to Member States in relation to incarceration. The paper reflects a “One UN” approach aimed at supporting efforts to rethink the current overreliance on and implementation of incarceration, including through better coordination and integrated efforts. The United Nations system common position on incarceration is based on the understanding that no one should be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention and that the deprivation of liberty in response to a criminal charge or offence should constitute a measure of last resort, with due consideration first being paid to non-custodial sanctions or measures. It also acknowledges that, as part of individualized, balanced and proportionate criminal justice responses to offending, well managed prisons constitute an important aspect of the justice chain. Prison services that respect human dignity and operate in line with international norms and standards constitute a core element of efforts to maintain peace and security, public safety and respect for human rights.

Sustainable Development Goals:


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