Report of the Secretary-General, Human rights in the administration of justice, 27 September 2016, A/71/405

  1. So-called “zero tolerance policies” and “tough-on-crime” approaches adopted in many States have led to a high increase in the number of arrests,5 even for minor offences,6 and to people being held in custody for long periods (see A/HRC/19/57/Add.2, para. 38). In addition, some practices, such as overly broad legislation and regulations (see CCPR/C/HND/CO/1, para. 13) and rewards to police for arrests (see CAT/OP/MEX/1, para. 182), have been reported to lead to arbitrary arrests. Such practices have significantly contributed to overincarceration and overcrowding.

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  1. The excessive recourse to incarceration and the resulting overcrowding of places of detention remain a main, and concerning, human rights challenge in the administration of justice. (…) right of detainees to challenge detention is fully respected, using pretrial detention only as a last resort, developing and implementing, including by legislative measures, alternatives to custodial measures, during pretrial and post-conviction and reviewing criminal policies and legislation to ensure proportionate sentencing.

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