The Project will therefore simultaneously work with all the actors in the criminal justice chain, ensuring coordination of efforts and adoption of reform elements across institutions – prosecution, courts, defence attorneys, prison, probation, local communities and other relevant institutions.
The Project will support the Public Institution “Center of Probation” in Ukraine to develop in line with international standards and best practice in the field of probation. In order to make the Public Institution “Center of Probation” a key player in the criminal justice system, it is important to provide professional intervention throughout the whole criminal justice system. But for alternative measures and sanctions to be effective in reducing crime they must be used and have the confidence of judges, prosecutors and local communities. This can gradually be achieved if alternative sanctions are managed and supervised by a modern, professional Probation organization.
The Project will therefore, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Justice in Ukraine, support the development of legal and policy framework, strengthen the institutional capacity of the new Public Institution “Center of Probation”, systematically focus on engaging legal professionals across the criminal justice chain to address important probation reform issues and alternative sanctions.
The NORLAU Probation Project has agreed with the MoJ to establish two regional pilots – Bila Tserkva and Kharkiv. Several discussions and activities with main partners in both pilots have been already taken place. Bila Tserkva and Kharkiv are different in many ways, but we think they will complement each other as good models for the Public Institution “Center of Probation” in Ukraine.
The Project aims to also continuously evaluate the relevance of its support, and will quickly respond to adjustments in the national reform agenda. All program planning documents will be continuously reviewed and updated.
Reforming the probation service in Ukraine is a long-term process. The Public Institution “Center of Probation” in Ukraine is one of the biggest probation organisations in Europe in terms of the number of staff, number of offices and the number of offenders under their supervision. We assume there will be need for international support in the years to come.
The Project will focus on five components which are all interrelated:
1. Alternative sanctions are prioritized by judges and prosecutors, and applied for minor crimes and offences.
2. Improve the institutional capacity of the probation system – legislative and resource support.
3. Improve the effectiveness of the training of probation staff.
4. Persons who have been sentenced to alternative sanctions complete their sentence without reoffending and are better integrated into society.
5. Enhancing the cooperation between prison and probation resulting in the improvement of sentence planning and social integration of offenders.