The UNODC Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Reducing Reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration has now been published on line. The report follows a request of the UN General Assembly to the UNODC  to convene an expert group meeting to share information on promising practices to reduce reoffending, with a view to developing model strategies on reducing reoffending. Experts from all world regions contributed, in April 2022, in their individual capacities, including several from Europe.

The report is available on the website of the UNODC via this link. This report addresses a wide number of issues and good practices including several related to the “effective use of non-custodial measures in all appropriate cases (which) should be promoted as beneficial in reducing reoffending.”

Areas considered include the importance of a “multi-sectoral” approach, developing public understanding, addressing societal causes such as poverty and related to discrimination including gender, social reintegration in and post custody (including pre-trial detainees), the importance of staff and training, use of Electronic Monitoring (including challenges such as avoiding net-widening), and engagement of volunteers (amongst others). It was proposed that supervision schemes “be implemented in accordance with the three key principles of parsimony, proportionality, and legitimacy.”

This report is a significant step in a developing international discussion on reducing recidivism. The model strategies that will follow will aim to offer practical and flexible guidance to Member States in different regions of the world who may have services, including probation, at different stages of development, and access to differing levels of resources including infrastructure. Experts also noted the importance, as this international initiative continues, of information sharing and technical assistance in areas such as data collection, research and evaluation.”

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