Probation. Why and how?

Probation is a fast-developing field that plays an important role in the response to crime and the prevention of reoffending. Having a strong probation service can be cost effective, improves sanctioning and helps to reduce recidivism. It contributes to recovery for both the offender and the victim: For the victim, it enables them to have their voice heard and needs met. For offenders, expressing responsibility or remorse can increase their willingness for change. 


This project aims to support justice ministers, other politicians and senior civil servants who are interested in setting up or upgrading a probation service. 

"...if community sanctions and measures are used wisely and proportionately, they can make a contribution to reducing prison numbers. In any case they should be valued not only for their potential to reduce the size of the prison population but for their positive contribution to justice and social inclusion."

Council of Europe (2017)


A brochure (this version includes references) and a video are developed that will help countries that don't yet have probation systems or are in the early stages of developing probation systems to realise the potential benefits of community sentencing.

Topics that are covered:

  • Council of Europe standards
  • Benefits of probation
  • Setting up and running a probation system
  • The role of probation in different stages of the execution of criminal sanctions
  • Helping offenders desist from crime
  • Essential partnerships


01 January 2021 - 01 December 2021


Project results are based on current scientific insights about effective probation work and various rules from the Council of Europe.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Collaboration with knowledge partners

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Jacqueline Bosker | Professor | Working with Mandated Clients

Jacqueline Bosker

  • Professor
  • Research group: Working with Mandated Clients