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ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT COMMUNITY SENTENCE IN NORWAY (PROBATION) Author: Tamara Rojšek May, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT COMMUNITY SENTENCE IN NORWAY (PROBATION) Author: Tamara Rojšek May, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT COMMUNITY SENTENCE IN NORWAY (PROBATION) Author: Tamara Rojšek May, 2009.

2 Probation: In modern criminal administration, allowing a person convicted of some offense to remain free under a suspension of a jail sentence during good behavior and generally under the supervision or guardianship of probation officer together with other restrictions as the court may impose.

3 The police force in Norway is subject to the decisions of the Public Prosecution Authority in criminal investigations and the determination of whether criminal proceedings are to be initiated. The police are supervised by the Ministry of Justice in police functions bearing upon public order. Officials in the higher echelons of the police belong to the Public Prosecution Authority, which is responsible for determining if the evidence in given cases is sufficient to warrant criminal prosecution. Criminal cases may be considered by either a district court or the High Court (for serious offenses). Appeals are heard by the Supreme Court. General penalties are imprisonment, detention, and fines.

4 As of January 1980, probation and aftercare were transferred to a national system, and such services previously provided by private organizations were terminated. The Department of Prison and Probation in the Ministry of Justice deals with issues of prison administration, probation, and aftercare. The staff of the Probation and Aftercare Service consists of a division head, executive officers, a psychologist, social workers, managers, therapists, and a part-time teacher. Background reports are prepared on defendants and offenders, and services are provided to help clients adjust satisfactorily in the community. As of January 1980, probation and aftercare were transferred to a national system, and such services previously provided by private organizations were terminated. The Department of Prison and Probation in the Ministry of Justice deals with issues of prison administration, probation, and aftercare. The staff of the Probation and Aftercare Service consists of a division head, executive officers, a psychologist, social workers, managers, therapists, and a part-time teacher. Background reports are prepared on defendants and offenders, and services are provided to help clients adjust satisfactorily in the community.

5 Probation services do not duplicate and attempt to use services provided by existing community institutions. The Probation and Aftercare Service provides those services that do not already exist in the community. The primary purpose of the officer-client relationship is to provide assistance to the client in assessing his/her situation and develop strategies for resolving problems. The Service may assist in education, vocational training, and the provision of housing

6 A long, well-prepared community sentence is a better option to prevent new crime than a short prison sentence. Short prison sentences will in general not be followed up by any types of rehabilitation during the stay in prison and they therefore do not tackle the underlying factors of the offending behaviour.

7 Community sentence - The offender within his local community should pay back for the crime and harm he had committed - The offender is required to give up some of his free time to undertake unpaid work for the benefit of the local community and at the same time the offender could continue his work, education, contact with family and friends

8 Unpaid work is designed to teach the offender pro-socoal attitudes and behaviour. The skills and experience gained by the offender when he carried out unpaid work, should hopefully lead them to find paid employment.

9 The 1990`s were a decade of great changes for the Norwegian Correctional Service An evaluation of community service concluded that some important changes were required: - Rules of procedure were lacking - Breaches should be dealt more firmly and consistently - Community service was only based on one activity – unpaid work. ( This provided no flexibilities. Research had showed that if we paid attention to other activities, such as employment, treatment, housing, life skills - the chances of rehabilitation and preventing crime would increase ) -Community service needed more public confidence

10 At the same time a closer link between the Probation and Prison service became in focus and subjects like “what works”, assessment of need and risk, cognitive programs, the role of the probation officer enter the stage. Changes continued into the new millennium and in 2001 they established the Norwegian Correctional Service that combines both prison and probation. Community service was reorganized and renamed to Community sentencepunishment Throughout 2001, 3304 new probation orders were implemented. These were: probation under deferred sentence, community service, preventive supervision, release on parole, and conditional discharge. Throughout the year, a total of 5485 persons were under supervision or completing community sanctions.

11 Community sentence is a major sentence, an alternative to imprisonment. The sentence represents something new compared to alternative sanctions used in the rest of Europe: The Probation service is given the authority to make the necessary decisions during the execution of the sentence at the local level.

12 In each particular case the probation service determines the precise content of the sentence. There are three types of punishments that may be given separately or in combination: 1. Community service – that is unpaid work 2. Participation in cognitive skills programs 3. Other measures that is suitable for preventing crime

13 The range of options is very wide and allows lot more flexibility in how different elements of a sentence can be combined. This implies that they may design an individual sentence and choose specific tools that we think will work best for each offender. A long community sentence gives they enough time to work on the offender’s motivation, problems, way of thinking and practical issues. Community sentence is based on three pillars: Punishment – Reparation – Rehabilitation. This is the only sentence that incorporate all three notions and the balance between the three principles is considerable important.

14 Punishment ( the aspects of punishment ) Community sentence is not a way of avoiding punishment, but the offenders are being punished in another way. Community sentence includes a broad range of strict requirements and a proper planned and resourced community sentence, is a hardship for the offender, it is not a soft option. Punishment ( the aspects of punishment ) Community sentence is not a way of avoiding punishment, but the offenders are being punished in another way. Community sentence includes a broad range of strict requirements and a proper planned and resourced community sentence, is a hardship for the offender, it is not a soft option.

15 Reparation ( the aspects of reparation ) Crimes are committed in the community, it is the community that suffer from the crime and deserve reparation. There must be a public confidence that the punishment fits the crime and that the offender will pay back for the harm and damage his offending has caused. The society will be pleased when the offender is being punished and that the retributive element is being satisfied.

16 Rehabilitation The most effective way of helping offenders to change their criminal behaviour, is to address the factors that contribute to their offending. Usually that is: lack of employment, education, life skills, housing, mentally illness, alcohol an drug problems. Researced has shown that rehabilitative programs are more effective when they are delivered as a part of a community sentence. Because, in the community the offenders can test themselves in the midst of the reality of daily life.

17 Some statistics for Nordic countrys :

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20 Resources : tives%20to%20imprisonment_en.doc tives%20to%20imprisonment_en.doc tives%20to%20imprisonment_en.doc tives%20to%20imprisonment_en.doc stract.aspx?ID= stract.aspx?ID= stract.aspx?ID= stract.aspx?ID= tatistisk_materiale/nordic_statistics/html/k ap04.htm tatistisk_materiale/nordic_statistics/html/k ap04.htm tatistisk_materiale/nordic_statistics/html/k ap04.htm tatistisk_materiale/nordic_statistics/html/k ap04.htm


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