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National Assembly approved the draft law on “Probation” with the enclosed package.

18.05.2016

On May 18, the National Assembly unanimously approved the draft Law on Probation with the enclosed package in the third reading, with 116 votes in favor of the bill. Thus, the State Probation Service should be established on the basis of the Alternative Sanctions Enforcement Division under the Ministry of Justice of Armenia. It will perform the following functions

• Implementation of non-custodial sanctions and other compulsory measures ordered by the court

• Implementation of pretrial restraining measures alternative to detention on remand taking into account the assessment of the risks and the needs of the beneficiary of the Probation Service

• Provision of advisory reports about a person on matters of suspension of the execution of the sentence, early conditional release, substitution of the sentence with a more lenient type of sentence, cancellation of criminal record

• Supervision of convicts on parole due to conditional non-execution of the sentence, supervision of persons granted early conditional release, supervision of pregnant women or persons taking care of a child under the age of three, supervision of persons exempted of a sentence or the persons with their sentences deferred.

On May 12, at the extraordinary meeting of National Assembly, the Minister of Justice Arpine Hovhannisyan noted that state probation officers will not be identified and regarded as the other employees of the Criminal Penal System; they will not be wearing special uniforms. On the contrary, they are civil servants who will apply new approach and ideology in their work.

In addition to supervision, the service will carry out activities aimed at re-socialization of offenders.

The creation of Probation Service will contribute to the reduction of reoffending, as well as to a reduction in the overcrowding of prisons, which would be beneficial to the state and the society from both social and financial aspects.

Moreover, at the suggestion of parliamentarians, the Probation Service will also act as a mediator between victim and offender with the aim of facilitating reconciliation between them.

Source www.hra.am