The reform of criminal procedure, the establishment of a probation office and financial incentives for foreign investment are just a few of the numerous topics addressed by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia at its regular session today.
With European funds to the modern implementation of alternative sanctions – the establishment of a Probation Administration
The Slovenian Government today adopted the wording of the Draft Probation Act, which establishes a single probation authority as a part of the system for the implementation of Community sanctions, which will combine the carrying out of probationary duties at a single location, and at the same time the new law sets out the purpose and content of the institution of probation, its method of implementation, the bodies competent for its implementation and individual probationary duties. Probationary duties are currently performed by the state prosecutor’s office, centres for social work and prisons, while house arrest is supervised by the courts alone or in cooperation with the police.
The Resolution on the National Programme for the Prevention and Suppression of Crime, adopted in 2007 and 2012, set out the need for the establishment of such an authority. During that time, the average number of persons incarcerated in Slovenian prisons per day rose from 1,147 in 2002 to 1,463 in 2015. A full 55 percent of all newly sentenced convicts receive sentences of less than two years, which according to penological findings do not have the desired preventive effect, and are also one of the most expensive responses in the state’s battle against crime.
The advantage of a probation system in comparison with the current system is that it allows the comprehensive judicial treatment of perpetrators of criminal offences in all phases of pre-trial and criminal proceedings, including the imposition of criminal sanctions, within a single institution.
The objectives (and according to other countries’ experiences the positive effects) of the probation office are the following:
• reduction of recidivism through the establishment of positive relationships with the perpetrators,
• comprehensive treatment of convicted persons from the initiation of pre-trial proceedings, during the imposition of certain penalties, during the provision of protective custody as part of a conditional sentence or a conditional release within a single institution, i.e. the probation office,
• reduction of prison congestion, and
• reduction of the risk of recidivism.
If the draft law is adopted, Slovenia will establish a professional probation office in April 2018, and European funds have been secured to finance the majority of its initial operating costs.