UNODC Shares Experience on Successful Reintegration of Probation Clients in Latvia and Kyrgyzstan

UNODC Programme Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, in partnership with the Probation Department of the Kyrgyz Republic, conducted a training on “The Principles of Effective Work with Probation Clients” as part of the “Post-release Supervision and Probation of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Violent Extremist Offenders Project”, implemented by UNODC and funded by the U.S State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism.

The training engaged 30 psychologists and social workers of the probation department from seven oblasts of Kyrgyzstan as they are currently working directly with the targeted population to provide reintegration intervention.


According to UNODC International Project Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Aisyah Yuliani, the current project is being implemented to assist in the reintegration of those convicted of extremist and terrorist activities into society, and a great responsibility lies with the employees of the Probation Department themselves.


Ms. Yuliani and UNODC international expert, Ms. Aleksandra Kerna explained the factors that determine successful client engagement.

Question: What approaches are needed in ensuring successful reintegration of Probation clients?

Answer: “A community corrections approach that is utilized requires additional effort from the officers to make sure that the client supervision visit goes beyond administrative check. It is important to work on the integration of such clients into society . In general, the project is focused on two areas: improving the legislative framework and strengthening the capacity of government agencies involved in the project: the probation service, internal affairs bodies, as well as the community into which we integrate clients”, highlighted Yuliani.

The International Project Coordinator of the UNODC Program Office in the Kyrgyz Republic noted that the probation service in Kyrgyzstan is still a young organization, but has already shown many achievements.

“These advances are moving dynamically, especially those related to the integrated probation system. Currently, there are several different probation officers who perform different roles in working with clients and their work needs to be clarified and targeted. However, before developing such “targeted” interventions, all officers need to be equipped with the basic probation skills,” Yuliani added.


Ms. Kerna, who came to Kyrgyzstan to provide her experience in developing probation service from scratch and working with special category of clients sees enormous potential within the probation officers. "In addition to sharing my experience and knowledge, I will also prepare gap analysis report which include recommendation on approaches to working with clients, training curriculum, and overall approach to client reintegration I would like to note that the probation authority in Kyrgyzstan has done a lot in its first three years. The Probation Department also have several things in the pipeline, including the introduction of electronic monitoring system," she said.

However, according to the expert, the probation system is not just about control over the client.

“I believe that the main responsibility of community correction is to reduce reoffending which is why it is crucial to work with the client rather than lecturing the client. It is important to utilize proven methods to motivate the clients change their mindset and behavior. In this respect we need to develop the skills of the staff, to implement methods that should determine the integration of the client into the society. During the five days training we introduce different client engagement methods and the positive attitude of the staff and their willingness to learn are very encouraging. We hope that they will utilize the skills and knowledge in their day to day work” Ms. Kerna stressed.

The expert also shared Latvian experience in the field of probation and highlighted its differences from Kyrgyzstan. The system has been in place since 2004 and will mark its 19th anniversary in October this year.


“We started to operate as a completely independent agency and based our cooperation on the best practices of  European and other countries. We emphasise the need to utilize evidence-based practices in our work. As far as legislation is concerned, Latvia and Kyrgyzstan are similar in terms of objectives, which should be equally executed in both countries. However, Latvia, unlike Kyrgyzstan, has internal rules and regulations that define in detail the tasks of probation officers and how they should structure their work. In the Kyrgyz Republic, the domestic legislation and instructions covering the probation service currently need to be finalized. On the other hand, we have a 16 years’ difference in operation, but I notice that probation service is actively developing in the Kyrgyz Republic. In general this is an area where improvement is an ongoing process. Even in Latvia it is still developing. People change, legislation changes, and probation should adapt to the changing lives and behavior of our clients,” Ms. Alexandra Kerna concludes.


For more information, contact Vasilina Brazhko

Communication and PR Specialist at UNODC Criminal Justice and

 PVE Programmes in Central Asia

UNODC PO in the Kyrgyz Republic

at  +996775987817 (WhatsApp) or

                                                       by e-mail: vasilina.brazhko [at]