“Punishment is not Equal to Imprisonment”. Probation Service Breaks the Stereotypes

Probation Service. These two words combine the best international model of reclamation of a criminal.

The definitions of Probation service are various, one of the ideas is that “Probation refers to the implementation of punishments and other measures set  by law of the society for a person who committed a crime. It consists of several actions and interventions, including control, guiding and support directed at the social inclusion of the criminal, as well as contributing to public security”.

This legal definition is set by the Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Probation Rules. Besides this document, there are other legal prerequisites for insertion of probation service. We divided them into two blocks – international and national. This article will also refer to the problems of the insertion of probation service – outlining their solutions through the help of experts.

International legal prerequisites.

Probation is quite different in its international legal prerequisites. The authors of the study “The problems and specifics of the RA probation service establishment” prepared and published with the support of the OSCE Yerevan`s office divide international legal acts into two parts – Documents of the Council of Europe and UN Documents.

National legal documents.

The policy of inserting probation service was based on the Strategy program of legal and judicial reforms in the Republic of Armenia in 2012-2016. It states.” Create a separate probation service independent from the criminal-executive service in the structure of the Ministry of Justice”.

Awareness and preparation of experts. other issues of the insertion of probation service

S Soghomonyan facilitatorIn Armenia the establishment of development prerequisites are important for inserting probation services. This is claimed by the AYLA Board member, advocate Miss Syuzanna Soghomonyan. She states that it is possible to organize awareness raising campaigns through popular means among the society members, including the convicts and law-enforcement bodies.

Besides, there is also a lack of professional education. “It is necessary to develop and insert continual professional educational system for the workers in probation service, based on the international practice”

“Experts are already being prepared”, says the Dean of the YSU Faculty of Law Mr. Gagik Ghazinyan. DSC08745-copy-Ghazinyan-EPH-440x293He informed that the Master`s graduate of the specialization on criminology of the faculty is a ready contender for working in that service.

Assistant at the Chair of Criminal Law of the same faculty Tigran Simonyan mentions that these experts should not only have legal knowledge, but also knowledge on sociology and psychology. Նույն ֆակուլտետի քրեական իրավունքի ամբիոնի դոցենտ Տիգրան Սիմոնյանի խսքերով` այդ մասնագետները պետք է ոչ միայն իրավական գիտելիքների տիրապետեն, այլ նաև` սոցիոլոգիայի և հոգեբանության.

G Petrosyan MIP DSC00105 copyThe insertion of probation service is important also in terms of human rights protection. ” At this stage we welcome the efforts towards the insertion of the probation service. Our approach towards the concept is also positive. We`ll come up with more material and concrete suggestions in the coming stages when there will be concrete projects”, stated the First Deputy of the RA Ombudsman Genya Petrosyan.


Budget savings, decrease of double crimes, debarkation of penitentiaries, perfect reintegration of a criminal and finally complete protection of human rights. Experts believe that these will be the results if the probation service is inserted.

Experts say that the citizens of our country should understand that punishment does not already mean imprisonment. Probation service comes to break the stereotype that punishment is equal to imprisonment.

Read the full version of the article in Armenian.

Author – Gevorg Tosunyan