Source: (2003) Conférence Permanente Européenne de la Probation (CEP) Workshop, "Justice and Balance: Victim, Offender and Community Perspectives", 15-16 May 2003, Prague, Czech Republic. Downloaded 12 January 2005.

In 1998 the Criminal code was upgraded and amended. It introduced more alternative penalties that involved probation and probation supervision. At the same time, the initial experimental projects of alternative provisions were evaluated. These demonstrated excellent outcomes. As a result, the Parliament of the Czech Republic approved a governmental proposal and passed the Probation and Mediation Service Act on January 1st 2001. This was a very satisfactory conclusion to the first stage of the process. As for the Probation and Mediation Service, the process of its establishment was both important and very positive. There was a joint effort made by the universities and non-governmental organizations on the one hand, and the support of the government and the State Department of Justice on the other. Therefore, we can see this process as self-sustaining, as Vaclav Havel described it; as something established upon the initiatives and needs coming from everyday practice. It gained the necessary support of the governmental institutions at the right time and opportunity. We can see this as a good example of cooperation between the government and non-governmental sectors, bringing them together and creating important, shared and consensual change in the application of law and social services in the criminal justice sphere. (excerpt)

Read Full Article