Home » The Role of Penal Reform in Security Sector Reform by Megan Bastick
The Role of Penal Reform in Security Sector Reform Megan Bastick

The Role of Penal Reform in Security Sector Reform

Megan Bastick

Published 2010
ISBN :
ebook
78 pages
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 About the Book 

Penal reform activities have been carried on in Europe and the United States sinceat least the late eighteenth century. Security sector reform (SSR), a much newerconcept, is a governance-driven approach that looks to strengthen the roles ofboth stateMorePenal reform activities have been carried on in Europe and the United States sinceat least the late eighteenth century. Security sector reform (SSR), a much newerconcept, is a governance-driven approach that looks to strengthen the roles ofboth state and non-state actors to deliver security to individuals and communities.As such, attention to the penal system is important in any comprehensive SSRprocess. However, much SSR programming overlooks penal elements, and lessonslearnt through long experience in penal reform have not been applied to otherSSR activities. There is limited discourse between the penal reform community ofpractice and the wider SSR community.Separately, SSR and penal practitioners acknowledge this as a serious problem.Those working on penal reform often find that structural problems related toother parts of the security system – such as inadequate and inappropriate laws,absence of proper administrative systems and management capacity in the courtsystems, and inappropriate policing methods – must be addressed to makeprogress on improving prison conditions. Equally, in many post-conflict SSRenvironments, such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte dIvoire, the DemocraticRepublic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti and Liberia, inadequate attention to penalreform has undermined efforts at police or judicial reform.This paper seeks to initiate a dialogue concerning the relationship between penalreform and wider security sector reform and governance. It is based on deskresearch and a number of interviews with penal reform practitioners. A draft ofthis paper was discussed by a group of penal reform and SSR experts at aworkshop in November 2009.