UNDP, and UNODC Upskill Probation and Parole Officers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan with the European Union’s Support
December 16, 2022
Islamabad, 16 December 2022 – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Reclamation and Probation Directorates of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan conducted two 4-day joint training workshops on supervising, rehabilitating, and reintegrating offenders into the community. The training was organized for parole and probation officers from Balochistan and KP under the European Union supported ‘Deliver Justice Project’.
Probation is a sanction that allows convicted offenders to rehabilitate by conditionally reintegrating them into the community while they serve their sentence as an alternative to imprisonment. An offender on probation is called a probationer and is supervised by a probation officer. The probationers are usually first-time, non-violent offenders who are deemed appropriate to rejoin the community under supervision.
In Pakistan where most jails are overcrowded, the practice of probation, on one hand, relieves the system and on the other, prevents offenders from lapsing into the vicious cycle of reoffence through correctional methods. This makes the KP and Balochistan Reclamation and Probation Directorates important organs of the criminal justice system. The training, therefore, focused on engaging the staff of the directorates in practical-skill-based sessions on supervising, rehabilitating, and reintegrating offenders.
The workshops included sessions on communication, report writing skills, understanding the criminal justice system, international legal systems, preventing recidivism, and social integration of offenders and offending behaviour. It also provided a unique opportunity for the probation and parole officers to share their experiences, challenges, and opportunities they face in their line of work. A session on Pakistan’s constitutional guarantees and international commitments to raise gender-sensitization among the participants was delivered by UN WOMEN Pakistan.
Mr Mualim Jan, Director, Reclamation and Probation Directorate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attended the workshop as its chief guest. He praised the efforts of UNDP, UNODC, and UN Women to develop and conduct this much-needed capacity development programme. He said, “Reclamation and Probation Directorate of KP is committed to improving the conditions of the probation system because that doesn’t just benefit the offender or the justice system but the community at large. Training workshops like these play an instrumental role in achieving that goal.”
Ms Chamila Hemmathagama, Programme Manager, Rule of Law Programme, UNDP Pakistan, thanked the EU, UNODC and the Reclamation and Probation Directorates of KP and Balochistan. She further underlined, “Enhancing the skills of probation and parole officers to more effectively support offenders in the community reduces reoffending and promotes social reintegration. We want to shape safer communities which is possible if offenders are rehabilitated and reintegrated into society as contributing citizens through community support, supervision, skills provision, and other opportunities, rather than through imprisonment.”
Syed Waqas Shah from UNODC stated that “Human experience suggests that mere punishment does not suffice when it comes to sparing society from the adverse effects of crimes and criminals. The modern approach towards offenders must have a correction at its centre if we want to strengthen the criminal justice system in Pakistan. Thus, the vital role of Probation or Parole cannot be overlooked.”
Jointly implemented by UNDP, UNODC and UN Women, the ‘Deliver Justice programme’ is supported by the EU and aims to support reform processes to ensure the delivery of people-centred justice, enhance access to justice for all, particularly women and less privileged groups, and improve service delivery of the security sector in line with constitutional safeguards and international standards in the Merged Districts and Balochistan.
The UNDP Rule of Law Programme is implementing a range of interventions to strengthen security and justice sector governance in Pakistan.
For additional information, please contact Ayesha Babar at firstname.lastname@example.org or +92 (51) 835 5650
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