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Penal Policy Transfer: A Case Study From Ukraine

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 45 Issue: 5 Dated: December 2006 Pages: 502-520
Rob Canton
Date Published
December 2006
19 pages
This article reports on a project to develop offender community supervision in Ukraine undertaken between 2000 and 2003, drawing on the British model and assistance from British consultants.
The evaluation of the project showed some indications of success. An analysis showed improvements in the criminogenic factors that were being assessed; however, it will take time before data collection and assessment will show how effective community supervision has been. Seeking international assistance in modernizing its criminal justice system and complying with the standards of the Council of Europe, Ukraine approached the British Government for assistance. The initiative described in this article was one component of the modernization effort. Two demonstration projects in probation were created. One project was based at the Social Rehabilitation Center in Kharkiv, a large industrial city in eastern Ukraine. Offering shelter and short-term accommodation for some of the city's homeless, the center supports former prisoners in their resettlement. A second project was in the Odessa region, centered in the small town of Yuzhny. Each project began with a 5-day training program delivered by the British consultants. Subsequent visits involved further training that invited participants to reflect on and learn from their experiences in working with the method of community supervision they had learned. Participants were encouraged to bring their own case material and share problems and solutions. Project sites were visited, which sometimes involved detailed case studies of work problems. A training manual was subsequently developed. The training emphasized empirically based, proven practices and approaches based in cognitive-behavioral psychology. Since part of the rationale for community supervision was to reduce sentences of imprisonment, consultants met with members of the judiciary to discuss sentences of community supervision and what they involved. Issues in transferring policy from one country to another are discussed. 5 notes and 30 references