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United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: Report of the Secretary General

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2006
16 pages
This report analyzes the replies from member states regarding the use and application of the United Nations standards and norms related to persons in custody, non-custodial measures, and juvenile and restorative justice.
Member states reported difficulties in the application of standards and norms related to juvenile justice, although most had received technical assistance from United Nations entities and non-governmental organizations on the application of these standards. It is recommended that the Commission provide further assistance to states in terms of guidance on the standards and norms related to juvenile justice. Results revealed that several member states were unaware of opportunities for technical assistance regarding the standards and norms related primarily to restorative justice and, moreover, there appeared to be little knowledge about the basic principles for restorative justice programs. Despite the limited knowledge, half of the respondents reported having restorative justice processes in place for both adult and juvenile offenders. Most common restorative practices were offender-victim mediation, family group conferences, and conciliation. In terms of the standards and norms related to alternatives to imprisonment, member states reported limited knowledge of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures, mainly because only nine of the reporting countries had translated the standards into their languages. Knowledge was greater for the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and most states reported that these standards had been incorporated into their domestic legislation and that most prison staff and authorities were aware of the standards. Data for the report were drawn from a questionnaire completed by 21 member states in which they reported on their understanding and application of the United Nations standards and norms related to crime prevention and criminal justice. Notes