On Wednesday, 8thof May, the Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns visited the State Probation Service (SPS). During the visit a successful, effective preventive approach for young people to prevent the desire to commit offences was discussed with the SPS Head Mihails Papsujevičs and the Service specialists. During the meeting, the study conducted by the SPS on the committing of repeated criminal offences in the group of probation clients was also presented.
At the beginning of the visit, an effective preventive approach for children and young people was discussed to prevent the desire of children and young people to commit offences. During the meeting with the SPS employees the Minister of Justice J. Bordāns emphasized:“Young people and children are our future and we have to give them sufficient attention and resources. Therefore, it is important for the state to provide an adequate system of prevention – with an individual approach to each child and young person, in order to identify in time the risks and needs of his or her behaviour, in which he or she needs support”.
Preventive work would allow to response to the first manifestations of antisocial behaviour of the child timely. “The contribution of justice in work with children and young people would be preventing a crime before it is committed. The SPS has the knowledge and skills to work with children and young people to promote their positive social and behavioural adjustment, and it is important to maintain and develop these skills,” J. Bordāns highlights the SPD experience in work with children and young people.
The SPS researcher Ronalds Cinks during the meeting informed about the study conducted by the SPD “Relapse of criminal acts of probation clients.” The study was conducted with the aim of finding out the indicators of new repeated offences in probation client groups in 2013 and 2016.
As a result of the study, it was found out that probation clients serving sentences in public are less likely to commit repeated criminal offences than those who served all or part of the sentence in a penitentiary institution. The committing of crimes is related to age and criminal background; in addition, younger probation clients are more likely to commit crimes related to violence.
Lessons learned in the SPD study are shared with findings of researches conducted in other countries, namely, penalties served in public in a number of cases are more effective with regard to reduction of repeated crime then a custodial sentence.
Within the framework of the visit, the Minister of Justice also visited the territorial unit of the SPS Riga Eastern region to get acquainted with the working conditions and the established concept of safe working space.