One of the probation clients got into a traffic accident, while driving the customer’s expensive car. The other started a drunken brawl with the patrol police. A hunter got his unregistered gun confiscated, a homeless person was accused of a petty theft… Previously no other option than going to prison was available to most of them. For a long time, the majority of the prisoners have ended up behind the bars, they had no other option. However, the things changed 2 years ago. Thousands of people now are rehabilitated and corrected on the basis of their community rather than imprisoned. But not many people know about this transformation in Ukraine. Meanwhile, in 2 years of the probation functioning, more than 200,000 convicts got the chance to correct without deprivation of liberty. Currently, 65,000 people are serving community-based sentences.
The European Union Project Pravo-Justice, which involves Western and domestic experts in this work, helps to introduce the probation in Ukraine. They provide advice to the probation staff, conduct trainings, and introduce volunteer programs. To which extent are they succeeding to reform the post-Soviet system and change the society’s attitude towards the convicts, with the support of European countries? Read more