• Українською
  • Reform of the Probation System and Resocialization

    This reform aims to create a fully functional probation system that can rehabilitate offenders and create a balance between security of the society and crime prevention.

    Why change anything?

    Rehabilitation plays an important role in the society by reducing recidivism and improving the country's general crime statistics.

    As a more promising and logical scheme for administering punishment combined with assisting, supporting, and encouraging the offender's correction without isolating him or her from the society, probation is an effective alternative to punishment through deprivation or limitation of liberty.

    The imposition of sanctions and preemptive action will reduce the public cost of keeping offenders at institutions of confinement, focus resources on their rehabilitation, and save socially useful civil potential.

    The implementation of new technologies and electronic monitoring in the administration of punishment can replace certain aspects of imprisonment that used to be aimed at round-the-clock control of the offender's conduct.

    Probation is expected to return to society a fully functional person who does not violate laws, honestly works and pays taxes.

    What does the reform involve?

    1. Creating a system for reintegration of persons who committed an offense into genuine social life

    The reform is to design mechanisms for applying probation to persons released on parole and to introduce electronic monitoring during their probation.

    Gender-sensitive reintegration programs, methods of their performance assessment in respect of offenders designed on the basis of international best practices, a more thorough imposition of alternative sanctions on persons who violated conditions for serving their sentence and local governments, non-governmental organizations, international technical assistance projects engaged in this process will all contribute to an effective support of probationers in the community.

    2. Creating institutional capacity that will produce the transition from the penal approach to rehabilitation

    The achievement of this goal rests on an improved management in the penitentiary system. A full-fledged system topped by State Institution "Probation Center" together with subordinated probation agencies will strike a balance between the society's security and prevention of crime/rehabilitation of offenders.

    Institutional change aims to improve the organizational structure, the mechanism for using financial, material, and technical conditions in which probation agencies operate in order to effectively fulfill their objectives. Besides, the network of penitentiary institutions and their enterprises is to be optimized, their effective operation and profitability of production secured.

    Another important component of the reform is the introduction of a pre-trial services report — an absolute innovation for the country's legal system.

    The purpose of the pre-trial services report is to provide the court with information characterizing the defendant, his or her social and psychological characteristics, an assessment of the likelihood of recidivism, and an opinion on whether correction is possible without deprivation or limitation of liberty for a certain term. That is, the pre-trial services report enables the court to get much more information about the circumstances of the offense than contained in the bill of indictment and, as a result, make a more balanced and relevant decision to select the sanctions to be imposed.

    These activities aiming to enhance institutional capacity together with the introduction of new approaches to correction and resocialization of convicts offer a quality transition from the penal approach to rehabilitation.

    What has the reform changed already?

    • A probation system (SI Probation Center with 24 branches and 560 authorized probation agencies) created
    • A number of probation programs designed
    • A new institute of criminal procedure — a pre-trial services report — introduced
    • The algorithm of effective collaboration between penitentiary institutions and probation agencies during the convict's preparation for release streamlined
    • Communication platforms created for popularizing the role and advantages of probation in the society

    Goals and objectives for the current year

    Among its 2019 priorities, the Probation Center identifies active management of authorized probation agencies' personnel, including by enhancing their professionalism. Electronic document management is to be introduced to significantly speed up the institution's internal communications; international experience is to be studied and implemented in terms of applying electronic monitoring to probationers.

    Raising the society's awareness of the role and advantages of probation is an important priority. For example, there are plans to continue with the national photo project "Probation. Opportunity for Change", an information campaign "I am Building Up Probation", carry out a pilot program to promote probation volunteering as part of the EU international project Pravo-Justice

    In addition, the Uniform Register of Convicts and Detainees is to be launched this year. The purpose of the Register is to create conditions for operations of related units by supplying them with complete and accurate information about convicts, detainees, and probationers.

    The reform is implemented by

    the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, State Institution "Probation Center", Norwegian Rule of Law Mission to Ukraine, Expert Deployment for Governance and Economic Growth (EDGE), Project "For the Sake of Life", PRAVO-JUSTICE

    Key documents and useful links