From April 16th to 18th, the 6th World Congress on Probation and Parole took place in The Hague, Netherlands. More than 500 colleagues were welcomed from all continents and over 60 countries. This year’s theme was “The Future of Probation and Parole”: How do we envision and utilize probation and parole in different settings and developments? What lessons can we draw from the past? And what insights can we gain from each other? The congress offered a well-balanced mix of inspiration, in-depth exploration, and networking opportunities with colleagues from around the globe.

On the first day during the opening of the 6th World Congress on Probation and Parole, Dick Schoof, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice and Security, opened the conference with the words: “We can all learn from each other.” Mpho Tutu van Furth reiterated the Ubuntu principle: “A person is a person through another person. My humanity is intertwined with yours; to dehumanize you is to dehumanize myself.” Closing remarks by Johan Bac, Director General of the Dutch Probation Service, paid tribute to all probation and parole workers, expressed gratitude for their participation, and warmly welcomed all attendees.

Day two started on an inspiring note! Yassin from YOPE International delivered a powerful spoken word performance, urging us to take risks and go the extra mile to transform the system. Keynote speaker Clement Okech shed light on the changing perspectives of the probation service in Kenya, emphasizing the need for transformation.

Marco Brok and Melinda Lewis


The 2nd World Congress for Community Volunteers was built on the 1st Congress, aiming to showcase and advance volunteer work globally. Led by Japan’s Ministry of Justice, the event featured speakers from various countries discussing volunteer roles in bridging services and communities. It addressed supporting volunteers through recruitment, training, and recognition, proposing an annual volunteer day to enhance public involvement in reintegration efforts worldwide. In the panel, CEP ambassador Stephen Pitts delivered a welcome keynote speech, setting the tone for the congress with his insightful remarks. Additionally, CoPPer partner colleagues Marco Brok and Melinda Lewis from Reclassering Nederland were part of the panel, contributing their expertise and perspectives on volunteerism and community engagement. Singapore also provided a comprehensive overview of the history of the Yellow Ribbon Run during this session. Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that the next Yellow Ribbon Run will take place in Prague, this falls together with the CEP workshop on Working with Communities and Awareness-raising (10-11 June). Finally, ICPA, APPA and CEP supported the declaration on the International Day for Community Volunteers Supporting Offender Reintegration. From now on, 17th April will be celebrated as International Day for Community Volunteers!

prof. Ioan Durnescu and Danijela Mrhar Prelic                                  Iuliana Carbunaru

Daniel Danglades and Osman Nazir                                                  Eric Bezem

During all days of Congress, CEP was also present at the marketplace with a booth where participants were welcomed to learn more about CEP and its activities. There were also some nice goodies that people loved. But also the many board members were well-represented at the 6th WCPP. Board member Danijela Mrhar Prelić and honorary member Prof. Ioan Durnescu presented on “Implementation and evaluation of Core Correctional Skills: the whole organization approach”. During one of the parallel sessions, CEP board member Daniel Danglades and CEP member Osman Nazir had an interactive discussion on the future of probation in connection with the vulnerable group of foreign national offenders. They explored the unique challenges faced by foreign national offenders and discussed how probation services can adapt to better support them. Moreover, Iuliana Carbunaru showcased her poster titled ‘The Future is Brighter if We Support Each Other’, delving into the dynamics of influence on Penal Policy transfers across Europe, exploring the ‘who’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ behind these transitions.

Gerry McNally, former CEP President and CEP Designated Survivor presented “The Crofton-Jebb Controversy 1858-63: The Case for Preparation for Release and Post-release Supervision”.

Andrea Matouskova, Iuliana Carbunaru, Annie Devos, Jana Spero, Daniel Danglades, Pia Andersson, Danijela Mrhar Prelic and Jo Tein


On the third and final day, Shoji Imafuku urged all participants to endorse the declaration that proposed the establishment of the International Day for Community Volunteers Supporting Offender Reintegration. The keynote presentation was delivered by Prof. Ioan Durnescu and Prof. Faye Taxman, talking about ‘Probation Around the World 2.0’ and offered insightful perspectives on global probation practices.

In the afternoon CEP ambassador Steve Pitts and former CEP Secretary General, Leo Tigges presented their report (Click here for more information) and discussed a major research project to identify promising practices in building probation capacity. Results include a capacity-building model, 10 success factors, steps to avoid when growing probation, and actions for the international community to support a “step-change” in global probation/community corrections provision.

During the closing ceremony, Eric Bezem, CEP Treasurer delivered concluding remarks, highlighting the importance of probation.  In the end, Johan Bac, Director General of the Dutch Probation Service revealed Indonesia as the next host country.  The ambassador of Indonesia to The Netherlands expressed happiness to the whole Indonesian delegation regarding their role as the host of the next World Congress. He revealed that the venue will be in Bali and the ambassador invites everyone to attend the next 7th World Congress on Probation and Parole in Bali, Indonesia.


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