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Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons

image of Handbook on Anti-Corruption Measures in Prisons

Through this handbook, UNODC seeks to formally acknowledge and articulate a problem endured by all jurisdictions and to underline the international commitment to addressing it. The aim of this handbook is not simply to address corruption once it occurs but also to help Member States prevent corruption and protect prisoners, staff and communities from its insidious consequences. This is without prejudice to the fact that the management of prisons is one of the most difficult and demanding tasks that societies require, and many prison leaders and staff work with great professionalism and commitment to provide safe, decent and just conditions in prisons.

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Risk assessments and mitigation plans

It is important that prison administration and staff proactively acknowledge that corruption exists in prison settings and that it poses a real problem that affects not only prison staff and prisoners, but also the general public, including public safety. When cases of prison corruption are covered by the media, there is often a tendency to focus on salacious anecdotes at the cost of a careful and detailed analysis of the problem. To avoid such misrepresentation of the problem, the prison administration may consider issuing public statements and engage in public relations work. More specifically, it can explain the complex and demanding realities of imprisonment and create awareness that humane treatment, rehabilitation and public protection are all key objectives of prisons that can be undermined by corruption. The prison administration should also publicly (re)affirm a commitment to transparency, integrity and accountability.

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