Project Nr.LV08/1 “Increasing the Application of Alternatives to Imprisonment (Including Possible Pilot Project on Electronic Surveillance)” (further – project) of State Probation Service of Latvia (further – Probation) is actively work on its goals. In the closest future it is planned to announce tender for rent of electronic monitoring technologies.
Till the first of January of 2015 regional round-table discussions will take place. In these discussions representatives of law enforcement institutions (prosecutor's offices, prisons, courts, police officers, etc.) will be informed of amendments in the legislation related to implementation of conditional release from a custodial sentence and electronic monitoring.
Thanks to the opportunities offered by the project,
it is possible to help low-income probation clients with reimbursement of travel expenses to get to the service to meet with case manager or to attend probation programmes.
Probation and prison officers currently are provided with such activities of professional development:
- Peer reviews – preparation of mentors in field of probation supervision (only for probation officers);
- Seminars „Motivational interviewing”;
- Training of trainers for „Motivational interviewing”.
On 7th of august of 2014 the tender for several trainings has been announced and after its closure several trainings will be carried out:
- Seminar on electronic monitoring;
- Seminar “Training of trainers for conversation skills development training”;
- Work with clients with mental disorders;
- Change management in prisons and probation service;
- Development of system for community supervision and correction of behaviour of convicted youth, involving voluntary work.
Probation officers have the opportunity to receive supervisions of psychotherapy specialists, which are essential in help to reduce staff burnout syndrome and strengthen emotional resilience.
To be up to date with the latest international information in the field of criminal justice and improve the function of the probation service in accordance with modern trends, in third quarter of 2014, representatives of probation service attended the following conferences and seminars:
- Annual Conference of Victim Support Europe „ Developing Victim Support Across Europe”;
- International conference „Community Sanctions in Central and Eastern Europe” organized by European Confederation of probation, the European Council and the Probation Service of Moldova;
- Annual Conference on Restorative Justice of The European Forum for Restorative Justice „Beyond crime: pathways to desistance, social justice, and peacebuilding”.
In the coming months there participation of representatives of probation service is planned in a number of international conferences:
- Annual scientific conference of International Association for the Treatment of the Sexual Offenders – IATSO „Criminal Policies in Sexual Violence: From research to Legislation and Treatment”;
- Annual International Conference of the European Society of Criminology “Criminology of Europe: Inspiration by Diversity”;
- Annual Conference of National Organization of treatment of abusers – NOTA;
- Annual Scientific Conference of International Community Corrections Association – ICCA “Integrating Innovative Practices: From the achievements of the past to what matters going forward: Innovation, integration and implementation of research and practice”;
- Meeting of workgroup of Confederation of European Probation on preparation of conference of electronic monitoring;
- STREAM (Strategic Targeting of Recidivism through Evaluation And Monitoring) Seminar on the efficacy of probation programmes.
Assessment study of “Risk and needs assessment instruments” is carried on. Researchers as well study “The effectiveness of the probation programs" and prepare an interim report, which will sum up the results of investigations and make recommendations to improve the work of the service. The report should be completed by September 2014.