Historically speaking the Council of Europe has played a pioneering role and has a unique experience in promoting humane treatment of offenders, decent prison conditions and socially effective and rehabilitative penal sanctions and measures.

To this end a number of important legal instruments have been adopted, namely the European Prison Rules, the Council of Europe Probation Rules, the European Rules on community sanctions or measures, the European Rules for juvenile offenders subject to sanctions or measures and recommendations on remand in custody, education in prison, prison and probation staff, health care in prison, foreign prisoners, long-term sentences, prison overcrowding and conditional release.

Key Council of Europe Recommendations