1006th meeting – 10 October 2007

Appendix 14
(Item 10.2d)

Council for Penological Co-operation relating to probation and aftercare services in the European criminal justice systems (PC-CP)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Council for Penological Cooperation (PC-CP)

Compliance with Resolution
Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

Project 2007/DG1/1134 “Criminal law and penal sanctions – prison systems and alternatives to imprisonment” (to be entitled 2008/DG-HL/1430 “Criminal law and penal sanctions – prison systems and alternatives to imprisonment” at a later date)

Project relevance:

Committee of Ministers’ decision (taken at the 925th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (CM/Del/Dec(2005)925/10.4, paragraph 5) on 3-4 May 2005) by which the CDPC is instructed to examine the issue of probation and post-prison assistance with a view to addressing the need to develop the role of probation services.

Implementation of Resolution No. 2 (paragraph 19) adopted by the 26th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice (Helsinki, 7-8 April 2005), by which the Committee of Ministers is invited to entrust the CDPC to examine the issue of probation and post prison assistance with a view to addressing the need to develop the role of probation services.

The outcome of the PC-CP’s work will be to elaborate a draft recommendation containing guidelines and standards regarding the functioning of probation and aftercare services in the European criminal justice systems.

The work is very timely as in a number of Council of Europe member states probation and aftercare services have been either recently established or are undergoing or intend to undergo restructuring and revision of their place and responsibilities.

Project added value:

The Council of Europe is the leading European organisation in the field of penitentiary questions and alternatives to imprisonment. So far, two very important texts have been adopted in the latter area, namely Recommendation n° R (92) 16 on the European Rules on community sanctions and measures and Recommendation n° R (97) 12 on staff concerned with the implementation of sanctions and measures. There is also the need to consider the structure and functioning of the services concerned with the implementation of these sanctions and measures and to give guidance to member states in that respect.

Financial information:

5 meetings, 9 members, 2 scientific experts. The ad hoc terms of reference will be carried out under the existing budget for the PC-CP, which has an annual budget of €60 000.

Ad hoc terms of reference for the Council for Penological Co-operation relating to probation and aftercare services in the European criminal justice systems (PC-CP)

1.

Name of Committee:

Council for Penological Co-operation (PC-CP)

2.

Type of Committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group

     

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers, on the suggestion of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

- the Declaration and Action Plan adopted by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), in particular concerning the issue related to the security of citizens;

- Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods;

- and based on the Council of Europe’s and other international standards and having regard to the latest developments in the field of probation and aftercare in Europe;

 

Under the authority of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), and in relation with the implementation of Project 2007/DG1/1134 “Criminal law and penal sanctions – prison systems and alternatives to imprisonment” (to be entitled 2008/DG-HL/1430 “Criminal law and penal sanctions – prison systems and alternatives to imprisonment” at a later date) of the Programme of Activities, the PC-CP is entrusted, in conformity with paragraph v. of its terms of reference (see the PC-CP’s attached terms of reference)1 to:

i.

Address the issue of probation and aftercare services in Europe and the development of their tasks and structures. It should consider more specifically the following aspects:

- legal systems and structure of probation and aftercare services in the Council of Europe member states;

- tasks of the services at the pre-sentencing phase of the criminal procedure;

- tasks of probation services in diverting accused persons from prosecution;

- provision of supervision, help and assistance to the offender at every stage of the criminal proceedings, as well as during his or her deprivation of liberty and after release;

- work with specific groups of offenders (serious, violent or persistent offenders, foreigners, ethnic and linguistic minorities; women; sex offenders, elderly offenders);

- work with victims and with the families of the offenders;

- aftercare and the carrying out of community sanctions and measures;

- selection, recruitment and training of staff;

    - relations with the judiciary, social service centres, victim support agencies, police, health services and penitentiary institutions, private companies, volunteers and local communities, religious and charitable organisations in planning and managing probation work (including questions relating to sharing of information and professional secrecy);

    - scientific research and evidence based evaluation, multi-agency risk assessment panels;

    - work with the media and the general public.

ii.

draft a recommendation on the role and place of probation and aftercare in Europe and its explanatory memorandum.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

 

The ad hoc terms of reference will be implemented by the PC-CP.

6.

Working methods and structures:

a.

In its work, the PC-CP will need the assistance of two scientific experts with specific knowledge of relevant legislation and legal practice, of international norms and conventions relating to probation and aftercare, as well as of recent developments in research and practice on probation in the different member states.

b.

The PC-CP will work in close consultation with the CDPC and its Bureau and will report to the CDPC at its plenary sessions on the state of its work so that full account is taken of possible views expressed by the CDPC delegations on the texts drafted before their approval by the CDPC.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2008.

1 As adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 967th meeting (14 June 2006).


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