A two-day training course on probation as an alternative sentencing option not related to isolation from society concluded on 30 July in Dushanbe, according to the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe.

The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe organized the training session in cooperation with the Main Prison Department under Tajikistan’s Ministry of Justice and Prison Reform International.

A total of 33 representatives of civil society and prison staff, including 20 women, attended the training course, which was held in a blended format.  Participants enhanced their knowledge on alternative sentencing options and discussed the practical issues of having a probation department, effective co-operation with civil society participation, and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners. In addition, participants reviewed the conclusion of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules) and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

Civil society representatives from the NGO Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, and the NGO Legal Initiative were among the participants.

“The concept note on probation, developed by the OSCE, defines direction of the National Strategy on Penal Reform on developing probation as an alternative sentencing option, and this training session is an important part in this direction,” said Rustam Boybalazoda, First Deputy Head of the Main Prison Department.

“The training course on probation is one of the key steps to building the capacity of prison staff and civil society representatives on developing probation options in Tajikistan, which is line with international standards and best practices,” said Rober Heuer, Head of Human Dimension Department of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe.