- Published: 06.05.2022.
Conference "Challenges, dilemmas and examples of best practice in handling probationers"
Under the project "Strengthening human rights protection and public safety by improving the capacities of the Croatian Probation Service", funded under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021, a conference entitled "Challenges, dilemmas and examples of best practice in handling probationers" was held in Zadar from 2 to 4 May.The conference was opened by Ms Jana Špero, Director General for Prison System and Probation, with welcome speeches by Mr Elanas Jablonskans, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr Josip Salapić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration. A total of 80 participants from Croatia, Norway, Lithuania and Slovenia participated in the conference, whereby most probation officers were from Croatia and Norway.
Through a series of interesting presentations, interactive workshops and a dynamic panel discussion, the conference participants discussed the current challenges facing probation services. Experiences were exchanged on the daily work of Croatian and Norwegian probation officers and on the treatment programmes implemented, with the presentation of examples of good probation practice from both countries. An example of good cooperation between the Croatian Probation Service and the Centre for Social Inclusion Šibenik was presented, as well as an example of creative cooperation between the Norwegian Probation Service and the Red Cross. Generally, it was higlighted that in order for probation work to be effective on national level, it is necessary to continuously improve the cooperation of probation services with the state attorney's offices, courts and prison systems, as well as with the non-governmental sector.
In addition to work with probationers, special focus of the conference was on the importance of motivating and training probation officers, who deal with probationers on a daily basis. In addition to an interactive workshop, which was primarily aimed at raising awareness about the importance of motivation, Norwegian probation officers, who completed a job shadowing training programme in Croatia in March this year, and their Croatian colleagues, who then attended the job shadowing programme in Norway and Lithuania in April, shared their inspiring positive experiences and emphasized the importance of professional development.
The conference was evaluated as extremely useful and stimulating, both for further improvement of the efficiency of probation services and for continued cooperation in the probation field between Croatia, Norway, Lithuania and Slovenia.