UNODC, Qatar and Kyrgyzstan Prison Service cooperate to provide prisoners with job opportunities

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Prison rehabilitation programs serve to prepare offenders for life after prison, prevent recidivism and build a safe and resilient society. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the State Prison Service of the Kyrgyz Republic showcased an example of such a program during a handover ceremony of furniture and IT equipment for the vocational training school in male prison #3, which took place today in Novopokrovka village, not far from Bishkek city.

“Imprisonment, in itself, is incapable of addressing offenders' social integration issues. Rather, the time of imprisonment should be used to ensure - as much as possible - that prisoners are both willing and able to lead law-abiding lives upon release”, stated Mr. Koen Marquering, a.i. Head of the UNODC Program Office in the Kyrgyz Republic at the handover ceremony.

Out of the over 10,000 prisoners in the country, only 1,600 are currently involved in constructive activities. To change this situation, UNODC, the Prison Service and the Agency of Vocational Training under the Ministry of Education developed a prison rehabilitation programme, which foresees vocational training and the launch of a bakery, as well as shoe-making and sewing production facilities in female prison #2 and male prison #3.

In line with an Action Plan on Cooperation between the Prison Service and UNODC, signed in November 2017, and based on generous financial support from the State of Qatar, some 8 million soms have been allocated for renovation works and procurement of equipment for the establishment of 3 income-generated facilities. Up to 100 offenders are expected to participate in the prison-based rehabilitation programme, which will give them an opportunity to obtain a certified specialization as bakers, sewers and footwear masters and gain work experience at the prison-based production facilities.

“The State of Qatar and UNODC are implementing a global initiative to promote judicial integrity, youth crime prevention, education for justice and social rehabilitation of offenders. Over 80 countries around the world, including Kyrgyzstan, benefit from this program aimed at implementing the 2015 Doha Declaration”, said H.E. Mr. Abdulla Al-Sulaiti, Ambassador of the State of Qatar in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Adopted at the conclusion of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Doha Declaration highlights the importance of supporting measures to support the rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners into the community.

As the guardian of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), UNODC puts great focus on prison conditions and contributes to solutions to facilitate the smooth reintegration of prisoners into society.

UNODC supports the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in establishing a more rehabilitative approach to prison management within the framework of the 2015-2019 UNODC Program for Central Asia and the Global Program for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration with funding from the State of Qatar.

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For more information, please contact Ms. Vasilina Brazhko,

Communication and PR coordinator at UNODC/ROCA

at +996775987817 or by e-mail: vasilina.brazhko@unodc.org

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