Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (A/CONF.144/28/Rev.1)

(d) A range of sanctions should be available to enable the sentencing judge to choose the most appropriate one, bearing in mind the following guidelines:

(i) Sentences involving imprisonment should be imposed only is there are reasonable grounds for believing that non-custodial sanctions would be inappropriate;

(ii) The choice between different sanctions should be made in consideration of such factors as the likelihood of the offender being rehabilitated, the need for the offender to understand the harm he has done to the victim, and the costs and benefits to society as a whole;

(e) Imprisonment should be used as a sanction of last resort;

D. Management of imprisonment, especially in crisis situations

6. Recommends that, in order to reinforce the application of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, to respond to the current and increasing crisis of overcrowding and other problems facing many prison administrations throughout the world and to promote accountable management. Member states should consider the following action:

(a) Developing policies and strategies that reduce the use of custody and detention to a minimum. Such policies should be designed and evaluated in their own right, independently of the problem of over crowding;

  • Proportionality of sentencing

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