Pursuant to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On Probation” on February 5, 2015, creation of the new probation system became a priority in the framework of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy 2015‑2020.
The EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine” continues to cooperate with the Probation Department of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and initiates events to discuss provisions and novelties of the new legislation on probation with representatives of the judiciary, prosecution and bar in different regions of Ukraine.
On 08-11 November, the EU Project, in a partnership with the Norwegian Rule of Law Mission in Ukraine (NORLAU), organized a series of round tables “Probation in Ukraine: serving sentence in society”. The events took place in Odesa, Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The discussions brought together up to 100 justice sector stakeholders. Oleh Yanchuk, Head of the Probation Department of Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice, presented the legislative amendments and steps made to establish new probation service. He had noted that the probation system development was among the priorities for the Ministry of Justice and called all justice sector representatives upon a cooperation in that area.
The judges from the Netherlands and Norway together with the probation experts from the UK presented to their Ukrainian peers the best practices with alternative punishment, the use of pre-trial report and reoffending risk assessment.
The justice sector stakeholders discussed how the probation could influence a decline in crime rates and in a number of prison population.
“Appropriate implementation of the probation system will contribute to saving public funds and will open a social prospect for offenders. Introduction of the probation principles will shift a paradigm in an attitude to a convicted person,” – noted Denys Chernyshov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine.
“We have initiated these discussion platforms because now it is essential to understand how the judges and other justice sector stakeholders view the probation and advantages from its introduction. The probation will not be effective without any support from the judges,” – says Dovydas Vitkauskas, Coordinator of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine.