UNODC and Partners Strengthen Capacity of Prison and Probation Staff to Manage Violent Extremist Offenders in Kyrgyzstan

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A 5-day training course on social rehabilitation of violent extremist offenders for some 25 newly recruited psychologists, social workers and inspectors of probation offices and open-type prisons from Jalal-Abad, Osh and Batken provinces in the south of Kyrgyzstan was conducted from 15 to 19 April 2019.

The training, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with Kyrgyzstan's State Prison Service, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, was aimed at increasing participants' knowledge on mechanisms for the social rehabilitation of offenders in this category, both during their imprisonment and after release.  

According to Ms. Aigul Katkeldieva, Head of the Probation Service under the State Prison Service: "This training is conducted for the first time for probation staff.  Increasing knowledge of our staff to better manage violent extremist offenders and facilitate their social rehabilitation is a high priority for us".

In order to effectively respond to existing challenges, the country needs well-trained and qualified prison and probation staff. Training is especially important for people working with violent extremist offenders. International standards indicate that prison and probation staff should receive training before beginning their work assignments and throughout their career", said Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC International Manager in Central Asia.

"The role of the penitentiary system and probation offices is key to providing affordable, effective, and systematic rehabilitation assistance to convicts. The OSCE Program Office in Bishkek assists the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in enhancing the capacity of the State Prison Service in this area", stated Mr. Kakhramon Sanginov, OSCE Rule of Law Officer.

Training participants improved their knowledge of new criminal legislation, including on probation, and reviewed the goals and objectives of risk assessment and classification of convicts. A second round of such training is planned for staff of probation offices and open-type prisons from Bishkek, Chui, Issyk-Kul, Naryn and Talas in May.

As custodian of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (i.e. the Nelson Mandela Rules), UNODC provides technical assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of penal reform. UNODC also assists national authorities to implement the 2017-2022 State Program to Counter Extremism and Terrorism.

The event is part of a joint UNODC/UNDP project on support to the prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons and probation settings in the Kyrgyz Republic funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund.

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