United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Noncustodial Measures (The Tokyo Rules)
[Adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/110 of 14 December 1990]
I. General principles
1. Fundamental aims
1.1 The present Standard Minimum Rules provide a set of basic principles to promote the use of noncustodial measures, as well as minimum safeguards for persons subject to alternatives to imprisonment.
1.2 The Rules are intended to promote greater community involvement in the management of criminal justice, specifically in the treatment of offenders, as well as to promote among offenders a sense of responsibility towards society.
1.3 The Rules shall be implemented taking into account the political, economic, social and cultural conditions of each country and the aims and objectives of its criminal justice system.
1.4 When implementing the Rules, Member States shall endeavour to ensure a proper balance between the rights of individual offenders, the rights of victims, and the concern of society for public safety and crime prevention.
1.5 Member States shall develop noncustodial measures within their legal systems to provide other options, thus reducing the use of imprisonment, and to rationalize criminal justice policies, taking into account the observance of human rights, the requirements of social justice and the rehabilitation needs of the offender.
2. The scope of noncustodial measures
2.1 The relevant provisions of the present Rules shall be applied to all persons subject to prosecution, trial or the execution of a sentence, at all stages of the administration of criminal justice. For the purposes of the Rules, these persons are referred to as "offenders", irrespective of whether they are suspected, accused or sentenced.
2.2 The Rules shall be applied without any discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
2.3 In order to provide greater flexibility consistent with the nature and gravity of the offence, with the personality and background of the offender and with the protection of society and to avoid unnecessary use of imprisonment, the criminal justice system should provide a wide range of noncustodial measures, from pretrial to postsentencing dispositions. The number and types of noncustodial measures available should be determined in such a way so that consistent sentencing remains possible.
2.4 The development of new noncustodial measures should be encouraged and closely monitored and their use systematically evaluated.
2.5 Consideration shall be given to dealing with offenders in the community avoiding as far as possible resort to formal proceedings or trial by a court, in accordance with legal safeguards and the rule of law.
2.6 Noncustodial measures should be used in accordance with the principle of minimum intervention.
2.7 The use of noncustodial measures should be part of the movement towards depenalization and decriminalization instead of interfering with or delaying efforts in that direction.
3. Legal safeguards
3.1 The introduction, definition and application of noncustodial measures shall be prescribed by law.
3.2 The selection of a noncustodial measure shall be based on an assessment of established criteria in respect of both the nature and gravity of the offence and the personality, background of the offender, the purposes of sentencing and the rights of victims.
3.3 Discretion by the judicial or other competent independent authority shall be exercised at all stages of the proceedings by ensuring full accountability and only in accordance with the rule of law.
3.4 Noncustodial measures imposing an obligation on the offender, applied before or instead of formal proceedings or trial, shall require the offender's consent.
3.5 Decisions on the imposition of noncustodial measures shall be subject to review by a judicial or other competent independent authority, upon application by the offender.
3.6 The offender shall be entitled to make a request or complaint to a judicial or other competent independent authority on matters affecting his or her individual rights in the implementation of noncustodial measures.
3.7 Appropriate machinery shall be provided for the recourse and, if possible, redress of any grievance related to noncompliance with internationally recognized human rights.
3.8 Noncustodial measures shall not involve medical or psychological experimentation on, or undue risk of physical or mental injury to, the offender.
3.9 The dignity of the offender subject to noncustodial measures shall be protected at all times.
3.10 In the implementation of noncustodial measures, the offender's rights shall not be restricted further than was authorized by the competent authority that rendered the original decision.
3.11 In the application of noncustodial measures, the offender's right to privacy shall be respected, as shall be the right to privacy of the offender's family.
3.12 The offender's personal records shall be kept strictly confidential and closed to third parties. Access to such records shall be limited to persons directly concerned with the disposition of the offender's case or to other duly authorized persons.
4. Saving clause
4.1 Nothing in these Rules shall be interpreted as precluding the application of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment or any other human rights instruments and standards recognized by the international community and relating to the treatment of offenders and the protection of their basic human rights.
II. Pretrial stage
5. Pretrial dispositions
5.1 Where appropriate and compatible with the legal system, the police, the prosecution service or other agencies dealing with criminal cases should be empowered to discharge the offender if they consider that it is not necessary to proceed with the case for the protection of society, crime prevention or the promotion of respect for the law and the rights of victims. For the purpose of deciding upon the appropriateness of discharge or determination of proceedings, a set of established criteria shall be developed within each legal system. For minor cases the prosecutor may impose suitable noncustodial measures, as appropriate.
6. Avoidance of pretrial detention
6.1 Pretrial detention shall be used as a means of last resort in criminal proceedings, with due regard for the investigation of the alleged offence and for the protection of society and the victim.
6.2 Alternatives to pretrial detention shall be employed at as early a stage as possible. Pretrial detention shall last no longer than necessary to achieve the objectives stated under rule 5.1 and shall be administered humanely and with respect for the inherent dignity of human beings.
6.3 The offender shall have the right to appeal to a judicial or other competent independent authority in cases where pretrial detention is employed.
III. Trial and sentencing stage
7. Social inquiry reports
7.1 If the possibility of social inquiry reports exists, the judicial authority may avail itself of a report prepared by a competent, authorized official or agency. The report should contain social information on the offender that is relevant to the person's pattern of offending and current offences. It should also contain information and recommendations that are relevant to the sentencing procedure. The report shall be factual, objective and unbiased, with any expression of opinion clearly identified.
8. Sentencing dispositions
8.1 The judicial authority, having at its disposal a range of noncustodial measures, should take into consideration in making its decision the rehabilitative needs of the offender, the protection of society and the interests of the victim, who should be consulted whenever appropriate.
8.2 Sentencing authorities may dispose of cases in the following ways:
(a) Verbal sanctions, such as admonition, reprimand and warning;
(b) Conditional discharge;
(c) Status penalties;
(d) Economic sanctions and monetary penalties, such as fines and dayfines;
(e) Confiscation or an expropriation order;
(f) Restitution to the victim or a compensation order;
(g) Suspended or deferred sentence;
(h) Probation and judicial supervision;
(i) A community service order;
(j) Referral to an attendance centre;
(k) House arrest;
(l) Any other mode of noninstitutional treatment;
(m) Some combination of the measures listed above.
IV. Postsentencing stage
9. Postsentencing dispositions
9.1 The competent authority shall have at its disposal a wide range of postsentencing alternatives in order to avoid institutionalization and to assist offenders in their early reintegration into society.
9.2 Postsentencing dispositions may include:
(a) Furlough and halfway houses;
(b) Work or education release;
(c) Various forms of parole;
9.3 The decision on postsentencing dispositions, except in the case of pardon, shall be subject to review by a judicial or other competent independent authority, upon application of the offender.
9.4 Any form of release from an institution to a noncustodial programme shall be considered at the earliest possible stage.
V. Implementation of noncustodial measures
10.1 The purpose of supervision is to reduce reoffending and to assist the offender's integration into society in a way which minimizes the likelihood of a return to crime.
10.2 If a noncustodial measure entails supervision, the latter shall be carried out by a competent authority under the specific conditions prescribed by law.
10.3 Within the framework of a given noncustodial measure, the most suitable type of supervision and treatment should be determined for each individual case aimed at assisting the offender to work on his or her offending. Supervision and treatment should be periodically reviewed and adjusted as necessary.
10.4 Offenders should, when needed, be provided with psychological, social and material assistance and with opportunities to strengthen links with the community and facilitate their reintegration into society.
11.1 The duration of a noncustodial measure shall not exceed the period established by the competent authority in accordance with the law.
11.2 Provision may be made for early termination of the measure if the offender has responded favourably to it.
12.1 If the competent authority shall determine the conditions to be observed by the offender, it should take into account both the needs of society and the needs and rights of the offender and the victim.
12.2 The conditions to be observed shall be practical, precise and as few as possible, and be aimed at reducing the likelihood of an offender relapsing into criminal behaviour and of increasing the offender's chances of social integration, taking into account the needs of the victim.
12.3 At the beginning of the application of a noncustodial measure, the offender shall receive an explanation, orally and in writing, of the conditions governing the application of the measure, including the offender's obligations and rights.
12.4 The conditions may be modified by the competent authority under the established statutory provisions, in accordance with the progress made by the offender.
13. Treatment process
13.1 Within the framework of a given noncustodial measure, in appropriate cases, various schemes, such as casework, group therapy, residential programmes and the specialized treatment of various categories of offenders, should be developed to meet the needs of offenders more effectively.
13.2 Treatment should be conducted by professionals who have suitable training and practical experience.
13.3 When it is decided that treatment is necessary, efforts should be made to understand the offender's background, personality, aptitude, intelligence, values and, especially, the circumstances leading to the commission of the offence.
13.4 The competent authority may involve the community and social support systems in the application of noncustodial measures.
13.5 Caseload assignments shall be maintained as far as practicable at a manageable level to ensure the effective implementation of treatment programmes.
13.6 For each offender, a case record shall be established and maintained by the competent authority.
14. Discipline and breach of conditions
14.1 A breach of the conditions to be observed by the offender may result in a modification or revocation of the noncustodial measure.
14.2 The modification or revocation of the noncustodial measure shall be made by the competent authority; this shall be done only after a careful examination of the facts adduced by both the supervising officer and the offender.
14.3 The failure of a noncustodial measure should not automatically lead to the imposition of a custodial measure.
14.4 In the event of a modification or revocation of the noncustodial measure, the competent authority shall attempt to establish a suitable alternative noncustodial measure. A sentence of imprisonment may be imposed only in the absence of other suitable alternatives.
14.5 The power to arrest and detain the offender under supervision in cases where there is a breach of the conditions shall be prescribed by law.
14.6 Upon modification or revocation of the noncustodial measure, the offender shall have the right to appeal to a judicial or other competent independent authority.
15.1 There shall be no discrimination in the recruitment of staff on the grounds of race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The policy regarding staff recruitment should take into consideration national policies of affirmative action and reflect the diversity of the offenders to be supervised.
15.2 Persons appointed to apply noncustodial measures should be personally suitable and, whenever possible, have appropriate professional training and practical experience. Such qualifications shall be clearly specified.
15.3 To secure and retain qualified professional staff, appropriate service status, adequate salary and benefits commensurate with the nature of the work should be ensured and ample opportunities should be provided for professional growth and career development.
16. Staff training
16.1 The objective of training shall be to make clear to staff their responsibilities with regard to rehabilitating the offender, ensuring the offender's rights and protecting society. Training should also give staff an understanding of the need to cooperate in and coordinate activities with the agencies concerned.
16.2 Before entering duty, staff shall be given training that includes instruction on the nature of noncustodial measures, the purposes of supervision and the various modalities of the application of noncustodial measures.
16.3 After entering duty, staff shall maintain and improve their knowledge and professional capacity by attending inservice training and refresher courses. Adequate facilities shall be made available for that purpose.
VII. Volunteers and other community resources
17. Public participation
17.1 Public participation should be encouraged as it is a major resource and one of the most important factors in improving ties between offenders undergoing noncustodial measures and the family and community. It should complement the efforts of the criminal justice administration.
17.2 Public participation should be regarded as an opportunity for members of the community to contribute to the protection of their society.
18. Public understanding and cooperation
18.1 Government agencies, the private sector and the general public should be encouraged to support voluntary organizations that promote noncustodial measures.
18.2 Conferences, seminars, symposia and other activities should be regularly organized to stimulate awareness of the need for public participation in the application of noncustodial measures.
18.3 All forms of the mass media should be utilized to help to create a constructive public attitude, leading to activities conducive to a broader application of noncustodial treatment and the social integration of offenders.
18.4 Every effort should be made to inform the public of the importance of its role in the implementation of noncustodial measures.
19.1 Volunteers shall be carefully screened and recruited on the basis of their aptitude for and interest in the work involved. They shall be properly trained for the specific responsibilities to be discharged by them and shall have access to support and counselling from, and the opportunity to consult with, the competent authority.
19.2 Volunteers should encourage offenders and their families to develop meaningful ties with the community and a broader sphere of contact by providing counselling and other appropriate forms of assistance according to their capacity and the offenders' needs.
19.3 Volunteers shall be insured against accident, injury and public liability when carrying out their duties. They shall be reimbursed for authorized expenditures incurred in the course of their work. Public recognition should be extended to them for the services they render for the wellbeing of the community.
VIII. Research, planning, policy formulation and evalution
20. Research and planning
20.1 As an essential aspect of the planning process, efforts should be made to involve both public and private bodies in the organization and promotion of research on the noncustodial treatment of offenders.
20.2 Research on the problems that confront clients, practitioners, the community and policymakers should be carried out on a regular basis.
20.3 Research and information mechanisms should be built into the criminal justice system for the collection and analysis of data and statistics on the implementation of noncustodial treatment for offenders.
21. Policy formulation and programme development
21.1 Programmes for noncustodial measures should be systematically planned and implemented as an integral part of the criminal justice system within the national development process.
21.2 Regular evaluations should be carried out with a view to implementing noncustodial measures more effectively.
21.3 Periodic reviews should be concluded to assess the objectives, functioning and effectiveness of noncustodial measures.
22. Linkages with relevant agencies and activities
22.1 Suitable mechanisms should be evolved at various levels to facilitate the establishment of linkages between services responsible for noncustodial measures, other branches of the criminal justice system, social development and welfare agencies, both governmental and nongovernmental, in such fields as health, housing, education and labour, and the mass media.
23. International cooperation
23.1 Efforts shall be made to promote scientific cooperation between countries in the field of noninstitutional treatment. Research, training, technical assistance and the exchange of information among Member States on noncustodial measures should be strengthened, through the United Nations institutes for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders, in close collaboration with the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.
23.2 Comparative studies and the harmonization of legislative provisions should be furthered to expand the range of noninstitutional options and facilitate their application across national frontiers, in accordance with the Model Treaty on the Transfer of Supervision of Offenders Conditionally Sentenced or Conditionally Released.