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Experience of cooperation between the Probation Service and The Mediation Service - some achievements, challenges and opportunities

 

Tirane 03/02/2015 - In the surroundings of Hotel Tirana International it was  made a presentation and exchange of successful experience of cooperation between the Probation and Mediation Service in Albania and the challenges in this process.

The meeting was organized by the OSCE Presence in Albania in cooperation with the General Directorate of Probation Service , UNICEF and the Foundation "Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation of Disputes".

In this meeting were invited to participate experts from the justice system, probation specialists, and other intermediaries.

The roundtable aims at presenting the goals of the program, the methodology used, achievements and to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the mechanism of referral by probation and treatment through restorative practices and victim-offender mediation. Since the creation of the Probation Service in Albania it is targeted the promotion of alternative mediation and the provision of this service to offenders supervised by the probation service. Following the investment made in this direction, the implemented phase during 2014 focused on providing mediation services, both in increasing the capacity of young employees probation and intermediaries in the field of mediation in criminal cases.

During 2014, the local offices of probation service referred 92 cases to mediation service to handle through restorative practices, of which 81 cases or 88% of the total were resolved successfully, while in 12% of cases the parties involved  refused to be part of the mediation process, or failed to find a solution. Related to the age of the parties involved in the conflict, 57% of people involved in restorative practices were teenagers and young people aged 14-21 years (45% convicted and 12% damaged party).

Regarding the nature of the cases treated, regardless of the type of offense for which they were convicted, mediation service process aimed at finding solutions to disputes that have arisen as a result of the offense, as compensation for damage caused, whether moral or material in case of accidents or in cases of theft; normalization of relations between the parties, preventing other possible conflicts in the case of beatings, injuries, family conflicts, etc.

Another component of the project was to increase the capacity of probation service officers and mediators in the field of restorative justice and mediation. 39 probation officers and 20 intermediary attended two-day training of basic level, where they were introduced to the philosophy and principles of restorative justice, the experience of other countries in this field, domestic and international legal framework for mediation, the principles of mediation, as well as the mechanism of cooperation between the probation and mediation service.

 

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