The project builds on a previous project called “Why me?” implemented by the Probation and Mediation Service from 2012 to 2015. The project will continue providing complete support to the victims of crime but it will also offer a comprehensive counseling program for particularly vulnerable victims. The program will adapt to the needs of the different groups of victims. The program is based on international experience and is aimed at people whose ability to cope with the consequences of crime is low due to the nature of the offense or the victim’s handicap or impairment. As a new element of the follow-up project, the PMS will develop interdepartmental cooperation at the regional level, create multidisciplinary teams for victims with specific outcomes, such as the implementation of assistance to victims in regional strategic documents and concepts dealing with crime prevention. The project will also train social workers and workers in social services so that they could identify signs of criminal activity and support crime victims in exercising their rights. Project activities will be expanded from 40 to a total of 55 locations.
A lot of inspiration comes from other probation services around the world, especially Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK and Canada. Through the implementation of international partnership projects (e.g. Phare, Transition Facility, programs financed by the Norwegian funds, the Czech-Swiss cooperation project), the employees could gain experience and implement new approaches in the Czech environment. For example, the Czech Youth Offending Teams or Interdisciplinary Teams for Crime Victims were inspired by best practice of the UK. The Parole Boards draw inspiration from Canada and the UK. The halfway houses reflect the experience gained in England and Wales, Finland, Norway and Canada. Currently, the Probation and Mediation Service also draws from the experience in electronic monitoring system implementation, especially the UK, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Poland and Slovakia.