We have a range of practical resources to help you put the UN Bangkok Rules into practice.
The Guidance document can be used as a reference document and as a resource for use in reviewing legislation, developing gender-sensitive policies, and in training criminal justice actors and other relevant stakeholders around the world. (English only)
A short, illustrated guide to the Rules and what they say. English, Arabic, French, Georgian, Haitian Creole and Russian.
This tool, developed in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice, is designed for use by prison management, staff, policymakers and others involved in the criminal justice process, including legislators, judges and law enforcement officials. It aims to provide practical guidance on improving existing rehabilitation programmes and services and designing new ones, looking at different country contexts and taking into account location-specific challenges and opportunities. English.
Combines analysis of the Rules, interactive assessments and application of the Rules to real life situations, with a certificate issued on completion. Developed with Human Rights Education Associates.
Adapted as an offline version of the online course (see above), this training resource includes ten modules takes learners through key themes, case studies, exercises and quizzes on women in detention. Co-published with the Thailand Institute of Justice. (English only).
A half-day workshop for probation officers and relevant stakeholders, to sensitise them regarding the specific background and situation of women offenders, and demonstrate how social enquiries, pre-sentence reports and the supervision of community sanctions can be designed in a gender-sensitive way. Developed for and with the Kenya Probation and Aftercare Service, but with key elements that can be used for training in other countries.
Other briefings and resources
Examines the specific challenges faced by girls in contact with the criminal justice system. A joint publication with the Inter-agency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ). (English only)
Support for bodies monitoring places of detention to incorporate a gender perspective into their work and address violence against women and girls. A joint publication with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT). English, Russian, Arabic, Georgian, Spanish, French.
Outlines the ways in which women and girls face discrimination in criminal justice systems and how their gender specific needs can be addressed. (English only)
The results of surveys with women prisoners in seven countries in four regions, these reports contribute to the very limited evidence base on the background and characteristics of women offenders and are designed to support the development of effective law, policy and practice to support the gender-sensitive treatment of women prisoners. Multiple languages.
This factsheet focuses on the conditions under which women are detained on death row, with some introductory remarks on the profiles of women under sentence of death. It draws on research published by the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide in 2018, which has shed light on this much-neglected population. It is also available in French and Arabic.
This study was produced by Linklaters LLP for PRI and examines how women who have killed their abusers following prolonged domestic abuse are treated in law and before the courts, covering nine jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Spain and the USA.
The findings of this survey shows that with few exceptions, criminal justice systems are failing these women by ignoring their trauma and realities/dynamics of domestic violence.
This guide is written to help understand how life in prison can affect a person’s mental health, with a focus on women. It describes how to recognise the signs of poor mental health and how best to respond. It also includes a checklist based on international human rights standards aimed to help with the implementation of key aspects of prison reform and advocacy initiatives in line with international standards and norms.
Multi-jurisdictional research by Linklaters LLP for Penal Reform International assessing the sentencing of women of drug‑related offences across 18 countries. Drug policies are known to have a disproportionate impact of women and criminal justice systems generally ignore the complex and unique pathways of women who are convicted of drug-related offences.
This briefing paper analyses the concrete ways in which punitive drug legislation has impacted upon the achievement of the Bangkok Rules and offers several recommendations on how to translate the commitments set in the Bangkok Rules into drug policy. Jointly published with IDPC, CELS, WOLA, Dejusticia and WHRIN. Available in English and Spanish.
Drawing on the two previous resources, as well as findings from an expert meeting held in London in February 2020, this model for reform details how policy makers and criminal justice practitioners can respond effectively and positively to reduce the unnecessary imprisonment of women for drug‐related offences in line with international standards. Jointly published with IDPC.
A gender-sensitive approach to probation
The following resources are to assist in the implementation of a gender-sensitive approach to non-custodial sentences, based on a pioneering project by PRI in Kenya.
10 key steps to introduce a gender-sensitive approach to non-custodial sentence in line with the Bangkok Rules.
This briefing draws on research from Kenya and other studies on women in the criminal justice system, to outline lessons and recommendations on designing and implementing community service and probation for women, in line with the Bangkok Rules. Available in English and Swahili
A short film highlighting benefits and challenges experienced by women serving community service and probation orders in Kenya.