OSCE Office presents study on establishing probation service in Armenia

Analysis of the current situation, international standards and good practices of OSCE participating States was in the focus of a study on introducing a probation service in Armenia presented today in Yerevan.

The study was prepared by the non-governmental organization Social Justice with the support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan under a project aimed at advancing criminal justice reform in Armenia. Its findings could serve as a basis for the development by the Armenian authorities of the strategy for the introduction of the probation service in Armenia, in line with the Strategy Paper on Legal and Judicial Reforms 2012-2016.

“The establishment of a probation service would benefit the whole society,” said Vladimir Tchountoulov, the Human Rights Officer of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. “We hope that the study itself and today’s discussion will help the government to choose the most appropriate way for the operation of the service to ensure its proper functioning.” He underlined the importance of civil society involvement in the process.

The study presents various models of probation services in European countries and analyzes their comparative advantages. It also includes the results of a survey of the staff of the Justice Ministry, Penitentiary Department, convicted persons and other stakeholders conducted in order to assess the current state of rehabilitation work carried out with convicts.

Arshak Gasparyan, the Chairperson of the Social Justice, said: “The establishment of a probation service could contribute to crime prevention, reduce the reoffending rate, increase the application of non-custodial sentences and in the long term contribute to the safety of the society.

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