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YEREVAN. – International standards on probation and experience and good practices of other OSCE states were discussed today at an OSCE workshop in Yerevan.

The event was organized by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Civil Society Institute of Armenia, within the framework of a project funded by Norwegian Helsinki Committee, to present international standards and outline the vision of state bodies and civil society organizations on the future structure of Armenia’s probation service.

“The establishment of a probation service in Armenia is included in the Legal and Judicial Reforms Programme for 2012-2016. We believe the introduction of this important institution will contribute to strengthening the rehabilitation and re-socialization efforts of the penitentiary service,” said Vladimir Tchountoulov, the Human Rights Officer of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Marc Cerón, the President of the European Organization for Probation, who was the main speaker of the event, introduced the development of the European Probation Service Systems and the main principles and ethics of probation work. He also presented the legislative basis of European probation and the organizational modalities of probation service systems. 

Arman Danielyan, the President of the Civil Society Institute, added: “Probation is an institution without which prisons, early conditional release, alternative sanctions and other institutions of criminal justice can not function properly. Armenia is rather late in establishing a probation service, but we hope that the inclusion of international experts in the process will be helpful in blueprinting the most suitable model of probation service for Armenia's criminal justice system.”

The workshop brought together representatives from the Armenian Justice Ministry, Criminal-Executive Department of the Ministry, the Law School of the Justice Ministry, civil society organizations and academia working in the field. 

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