The Past of the Probation and Mediation Service

1994 - the introduction of the first alternative sentencing concept in the criminal law – that of pre-trial diversion (the conditional cessation of prosecution)

1996 - the introduction of two other alternative concepts, out-of-court settlements, and community service

1996 - the first official positions for probation officers at every district court in the land was created

1998 - an amendment to the Criminal Code brought about the adoption of further community sanctions and measures related to probation and probation supervision: conditional discharge with probation supervision and suspended sentence with probation supervision

1999 - the Minister of Justice submitted a proposal for further reforms to the justice system. These included a fundamental change to criminal proceedings and a new bill on probation and mediation service

2000 - the Act on the Probation and Mediation Service was passed by the Czech Parliament

2001 - establishment of the Probation and Mediation Service

2003 - the Youth Justice Act, No. 218/2003 Coll.

2010 - the Criminal Code, statute no. 40/2009 Coll., introduced the new institute of penal law - the house arrest 

2013 - the Crime Victims Act, No. 45/2013 Coll., entered into force - it expanded the competence of the Service centres, that now operate as supportive centres for crime victims

2017 - the Strategy for Probation and Mediation until 2025 was passed by the Czech Government

2018 - launch of Electronic Monitoring System

The Future of the Probation and Mediation Service

Generally, we see the tendency of closer cooperation between the individual justice system components, which allows for a more individualised, continual and effective treatment of offenders. The strategic goals of the Probation and Mediation Service are outlined in the Strategy for Probation and Mediation until 2025. The main goals are to guide the offender towards law-abiding life through control and support so that the offender has the best chance to reintegrate into society after serving the sentence and to extend the already existing support for the victims of crime while implementing the principles of restorative justice. All the methods used by the Probation and Mediation Service should be evidence-based.

To reach these goals, a number of strategic goals were established to develop best practice and cooperation in the key areas. One of the biggest practical changes that the Probation and Mediation Service is trying to bring about is to improve the preparation of prisoners for conditional release and to intensify the work with high-risk conditionally released offenders by establishing a permanent network of halfway houses. The halfway houses would provide monitoring and support to offenders with a high risk of reoffending or lacking social support in the crucial initial post-release stages. The Service also plans to become a provider of basic probation programs to ensure their quality and regional availability.

The Service plans to establish an equivalent of the English and Welsh Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA).

References

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Contacts

Probation and Mediation Service

Directorate

Senovazne namesti 995/1

110 00 Praha 1

Czech Republic

e-mail: posta@pms.justice.cz

tel.: +420 261 002 511