GDEP with a new system for assessing the risk of recidivism in probation

13-03-2024 11:51

Probation services will now implement an updated offender risk of reoffending and harm assessment tool. The new system is designed and implemented in an electronic platform to facilitate the work of probation officers. Nearly 300 experts — heads of probation services and psychologists — have been trained to handle the updated tool and its software version.

These are some of the main results that were reported at the final conference of the project ‘Strengthening the implementation of alternative measures to imprisonment’ under the Justice Programme, Programme Area 19 ‘Correctional services and pre-trial detention’ of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 — 2021. The project, which is implemented by the Directorate General for the Execution of Punishments (DGEP), is worth EUR 1 100 000 , and the focus over the past 50 months has been on improving, developing and upgrading probation and introducing alternative forms of imprisonment.

‘The results achieved in cooperation with our partners from the Kingdom of Norway are of utmost importance for the Ministry of Justice and are in implementation of the reform in the penal enforcement system,’ Deputy Minister of Justice Georgi Nikolov said at the conference. He added that by responding to international commitments, we have actually upgraded the competencies of the officers who work with probationers.

For his part, the Director General of the DGEP, Chief Commissioner Ivaylo Yordanov, said that all the planned results had been achieved within the project, giving the example of the newly developed social impact programmes ‘Anger Management in Domestic Violence’ and ‘Motivator’, as well as the approved Code of Ethics for Probation Officers.

The event was attended by Kristin Franklin, Senior Adviser in the International Department of the Norwegian Correctional Service, the Heads of the Agder Probation Service Geir Jensen and Vivian Boldvik Vaabenø and the expert Willy Giel, who highly appreciated the joint work with their colleagues from GDEP and expressed hope that the fruitful cooperation with Bulgaria will continue in the following periods.

The final conference was also attended by representatives of the National Coordination Unit, the Ministry of Justice, the heads of the Regional Offices for the Execution of Punishments, which control the Arrest and Probation Sectors. National and international experts, including the head of the Probation Service in Zagreb Matea Sršen and university lecturer Hristo Ormandjiev, presented their contribution to the project.