Shaping a Safer Society UNODC and UNDP hold trainings to enhance skills of probation and parole officers

20 December 2022, Islamabad - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Reclamation and Probation Directorates of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan conducted two successful rounds of capacity-building workshops in December, 2022. This initiative was taken under the ‘Deliver Justice Programme’ supported by the European Union.

The two 4-day workshops were held for the parole and probation officers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan on ‘Supervising, Rehabilitating and Reintegrating offenders into the Community’. The probationers are usually first-time, non-violent offenders who are deemed appropriate to rejoin the community under supervision. In Pakistan, most jails are overcrowded and 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. 

Mr. Syed Habib ur Rehman Gharsheen, Joint Director, Reclamation and Probation, Balochistan, briefed the participants about various challenges faced by the department. He said while progress was made on the structural front, there is a dire need to work on apathy with the judiciary and executive and steps should be taken to increase awareness on probation and parole within the legal community.

The training consisted of didactic and skill-based sessions. Key topics included communication, report writing skills, understanding the criminal justice system, international legal systems, preventing recidivism, and social integration of offenders and offending behaviour. A session to raise gender-sensitization among the participants was also organized and delivered by UN Women Pakistan. The workshops served as a unique platform for the probation and parole officers to share their experiences, challenges, and opportunities they face in their line of work.

Mr. Mualim Jan, Director, Reclamation and Probation Directorate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said, “We are committed to improving the conditions of the probation system because it doesn’t just benefit the offender or the justice system but community at large. Training workshops like these play an instrumental role in achieving that goal.”

Mr. Syed Waqas Shah, Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Coordinator, UNODC also spoke on the occasion and 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 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.”

The EU funded ‘Delivery Justice Programme’ 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.




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