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A brief introduction to the probation system

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  • Last updated:2019-01-03
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A brief introduction to the probation system

1 The importance of the probation system

The probation system is a major, modern method of treating a criminal. It departs from the traditional thinking based on the concept of deterring through punishment and turns to the criminal philosophy based on humanitarianism and utilitarianism. Therefore, the probation system is an integral part of the criminal policy.

2 The aim of the probation system

(1) Defending the society: The probation system is direct contribution to the defense of society because it helps the probationer to readjust his or her relations with work, family and society.

(2) Reducing the rate of crime by restructuring the probationer The probation institute provides appropriate assistance and supervision to the probationers and helps to restrain themselves so that they can rebuild their relationship with society and reduce their anti-social behavior.

(3) Consisting with the newest criminal policy and benefiting the nation The government's policy toward the criminals lies in the effort to restore the bright side of their character and to enable them to understand themselves in the course of probation. This replacement of negative punishment with positive encouragement is the greatest achievement of modern criminal policy.

3 Development of Taiwan's probation system

Taiwan adopts a dual-track system of probation. The Law for Handling Juvenile Delinquent promulgated in 1962 was put into effect in July, 1971. It provides that the juvenile court shall install probation officers and prescribes the qualifications and responsibilities of these probation officers. The probation system for adults was established before the separation of prosecution and trial on July 1, 1980, when the Ministry of Judicial Administration was reorganized into the Ministry of Justice, which set up a department of probation to take charge of probation and supervision for adults over the age of 18. paragraph 2 of Article 64 of the Law of Rehabilitative Measures was revised as follows: The Ministry of Justice may install probation officers in the prosecutors' office of district court specifically to enforce probation affairs under the command of the prosecutor. Thereafter, the Ministry of Justice went ahead to establish the probation system for adults. Probation officers were installed in the prosecutors' offices of district courts in January 1982 to take up the full responsibility of probation for adults, marking the extension of the probation system from juveniles to adults.

4 .The subjects and legal basis of the adult probation system

(1)Article 92 of the Criminal Code prescribes that "reformatory education" (Article 86 of the Criminal Code), "compulsory cure "(Articles 88 and 89 of the Criminal Code), and "compulsory labor "(article 90 of the Criminal Code) may be replaced with "probation and discipline."

(2)Paragraph 1 of Article 93 of the Criminal Code prescribes: A sentenced person receiving a probation may be subjected to "probation and discipline" during the period of probation.

(3)Paragraph 2 of the same article prescribes: A sentenced person released on parole shall be subjected to "probation and discipline."

(4)Drug abusers violating Article 10 of the Statute of Drug Control shall be put on probation during the period of probation or parole.

(5)Articles 30 and 31 of the Law of the Suppression of Domestic Violence prescribe "probation and discipline" for defendants during probation or parole.

5 .Flow chart of the adult probation system

(1)"Probation and discipline" during parole:

(2) Flow chart of "Probation and discipline" during the probation period

6.Methods for adults under the probation system

(1) Visit and talk with a probationer

The probation officer shall visit the probationer or invites him or her for a talk at least once a month. The officer should make the most of his or her professional skills to build harmonious relationship with probationers and provide proper guidance and supervision. The officer should understand the situations of the probationers, including working family life, making friends, and health , so that they will not commit crimes again. In addition, the probation officer should allow probationers in school or in work to report their availability on holidays.

(2) Assistance with employment

A major duty of a probation officer is to help the probationers to find the jobs according to their specialties and aptitudes. The officer should win, on behalf of the probationers, the opportunities to work in business enterprises and introduce them to employment centers, or recommend them to take occupational training. He or she should look after the probationers in this respect to ensure them a stable life. In addition, the officer should help the probationers to acquire small loans for running a business, so that they can support themselves.

(3) Assistance in going to school

This work includes encouraging probationers to be engaged in self-study, to attend remedial classes, or to continue their schooling, and solving the problems of their class work. For those who have good scholastic performance and behavior, the officers should help them win scholarships, so that they can continue their studies without worry.

(4) Assistance with medical treatment

Besides helping impoverished and sick probationers to get medical treatment, a probation officer should ask social workers for support or help to get financial support from charitable organizations.

(5) Assistance with financial aid and shelter

A probations officer should provide the shelter less and distressed probationer with emergency relief, including enlisting support from social workers or farming them out to relief hospices or asking charitable organization for help, so that these miserable people can get proper care.


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