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Advancing SDG 16.3.2 by investing in prison paralegals to cut the number of unsentenced detainees in low-income countries

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Clare Manuel, Marcus Manuel, Sheelagh Stewart

Image credit:NomeVisualizzato / Pixabay

We’ve begun to identify and publish examples of scalable people-centred justice. Drawing on data from Malawi and Uganda we estimate that the costs of investing in criminal justice paralegals to achieve reductions in unsentenced detainees in low-income countries are $20 per prisoner. Providing national systems of criminal justice paralegals in all low-income countries would cost $9million a year, and would deliver a potential cost saving of over $28million a year, three times the cost.

This paper focuses on ‘reducing the number of unsentenced detainees’– that is, people who are in prison for extended periods, often without being tried or sentenced. This focus is reflected in the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator for improving the access to justice (SDG 16.3.2).

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