Home > Report on the global webinar series on "Gender-responsive criminal justice and prison reform".

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Thailand Institute of Justice. (2020) Report on the global webinar series on "Gender-responsive criminal justice and prison reform". Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

PDF (Report Webinar report on "Gender-responsive criminal justice and prison reform")

The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organised a series of three webinars from 24 May to 20 June 2020 to create a platform for discussion on current challenges faced by women in contact with the law and sharing of tools, experience, lessons learned and good practices. This was part of a TIJ-funded initiative under UNODC’s Global Prison Challenges Programme to step up implementation of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Noncustodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). 

Key recommendations:

  1. It is imperative to develop short and long-term solutions to the overincarceration of women and bring about a radical shift in criminal justice sentencing and re-think the very purpose of imprisonment. The Toolkit on Gender-Responsive Non-Custodial Measures contains examples, promising practices, self-assessments and training exercises that can be used by policymakers and criminal justice stakeholders.
  2. The specific needs of particular groups of women prisoners should be taken into account – such as the need to reform legislation and sentencing guidelines to consider histories of abuse, ensure foreign national women are not discriminated against and offer women with drug use disorders the required health based interventions as alternatives to conviction or punishment.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen promising early release measures by many countries in order to reduce overcrowding. This demonstrates that use of alternatives to incarceration are possible and raises questions about whether these women need to be incarcerated in the first place. It is important to leverage the ongoing release efforts to create positive changes in criminal justice policies.
  4. Countries should consider implementing programmes similar to the promising practices mentioned below, based on their specific contexts.

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