Judiciary and Rehabilitation
What do we do?
Studies have shown that selective and well-thought-out approaches to judicial sanctions, using less expensive alternatives to incarceration for minor offenses, can produce more successful rates of rehabilitation, with less chance that the lawbreaker will return to delinquency. Punishment alternatives may include electronic monitoring, community service, drug testing, fines, or reduced or intermittent incarceration. Also, effective rehabilitation means offering a new life and social inclusion to those once living on the edge: former prison inmates, reformed drug and alcohol abusers, and those who sought help through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as family counseling in cases of domestic violence.
The Bank supports investments, research and pilot projects in alternative systems of judicial sanctions that are systematic, evidence-based, and more humane than existing practices and more effective in advancing citizen security. Also, the Bank supports specific steps for the rehabilitation of prison inmates, such as the promotion of training and job opportunities, investments in the modernization of penitentiary systems, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, law enforcement management and training and health care programs.
The objective of applying modern, alternative systems of judicial prosecution and sanctions is twofold: lower costs and reduce the rate of repeat offenses by a person who has been legally sanctioned. For instance, alternative systems of judicial sanctions can reduce overcrowding in jails and thereby bring down expenses while reducing the footprint of the prison as a breeding ground for repeat offenders. Also, by dissuading offenders from returning to violence once released from legal sanctions or rehabilitation programs, citizen security is enhanced and risks are reduced.
How are law enforcement, criminal and alternative justice, rehabilitation and preventive efforts related?
Acting alone and in a non-coordinated fashion, police action, criminal justice, prevention activities and rehabilitation are insufficient to achieve the greatest impact to enhance citizen security. These various public safety components must be integrated and coordinated, with the application of best practices and monitoring mechanisms, to ensure the best results. The Bank stresses the rule of law, community outreach, respect for relevant international conventions and the establishment of clear legal and administrative frameworks.