The 3rd World Congress on Probation

1. What is the World Congress on Probation

 The World Congress on Probation is the world's largest international congress in the field of community based treatment. At the congress, practitioners in the field of probation (community based treatment) from various countries around the world exchange views from both academic and practical perspectives, and they disseminate and develop community based treatment policies and practices while expanding the international network of community based treatment professionals.
 The first congress was held in London (2013), the second congress was held in Los Angeles (2015), and in 2017 it was held in Japan, marking the first time the Congress was held in Asia.
 The main theme in 2017 was "the development of probation and the role of communities", and presentations and active discussions focused on the importance of the role played by communities in preventing recidivism and facilitating offender reintegration.

2. Overview of the 3rd World Congress on Probation

Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 ~ Thursday, September 14, 2017
     (Day 1) Study tour; the 2nd Asia Volunteer Probation Officers Meeting (simultaneously held)
     (Day 2) Opening ceremony, keynote speech, workshop, reception
     (Day 3) Special speech, plenary session, workshop, keynote speech, closing ceremony
Venue: Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
Organizers: Ministry of Justice, UN Asian and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,
    the Japan Rehabilitation Aid Association, the National Federation of Volunteer Probation Officers,
    the National Association of Offenders Rehabilitation Services, and the Japanese Association of Offenders Rehabilitation
Participants: 371 people (including 169 from overseas) from 34 countries and regions.

The 3rd World Congress on Probation Homepage
 12th (Tue) – The international participants attended a study tour where they visited the homes of volunteer probation officers, offender rehabilitation facilities, a probation office and prisons to learn about how Japanese offender rehabilitation is supported by community volunteers and understand how probation partners with correctional facilities.
Study tour of an offender rehabilitation facility
 13th (Wed) – Minister of Justice Kamikawa’s video message for the welcome speech during the opening ceremony of the conference addressed regional Japanese rehabilitation initiatives supported by local communities, and most of all, the volunteer probation officers who make the programs possible with their contribution to the safety of their communities and the spirit of community service. In addition, these volunteers have also contributed greatly to the increasing development of community-based treatment across Japan. In closing, Minister Kamikawa expressed her hope that the congress would become the perfect opportunity for cross-cultural learning about the measures for probation from countries all over the world.
 Keynote speeches took place over the course of two days, the 13th (Wed) and 14th (Thu), and consisted of researchers from Canada, the UK, and the US giving presentations from an academic perspective. In addition, Ms. Tomoko Akane, the Ambassador for International Judicial Cooperation (The current title: Judge, International Criminal Court, gave a presentation from the Japanese perspective titled the Future of Probation: Asian Experiences and the Role of the Community.

(Keynote speech themes and speakers)
・Developments and Challenges in Probation Practice: Is there a Way forward for Establishing Effective and Sustainable Probation Systems?
Dr. Frank J. Porporino, T³ Associates Senior Partner (Canada)
・Effective Probation: The Past, Present, and Future of Probation Research
Prof. Peter Raynor, Swansea University (UK)
・Imagining Community Justice Values in Probation Practice
Prof. Todd R. Clear, Rutgers University
・Future of Probation: Asian Experiences and the Role of the Community
Ms. Tomoko Akane, Ambassador for International Judicial Cooperation of Japan
Keynote speaker Dr. Frank J. Porporino (Canada) giving his presentation
 At the workshops during the days of the keynote speeches, researchers from 17 countries worldwide presented case studies and research on themes such as Development of Policies and Practices as well as Evidence-based Theories and Practices & Offenders with Special Needs. All participants engaged in active discussions. Japanese criminal justice practitioners gave presentations based on the research of case studies from a Japanese offender rehabilitation facility in addition to presentations regarding young adult volunteers working in rehabilitation programs with the Japan Federation of Big Brothers and Sisters. Researchers from the US, Canada, and the UK gave presentations regarding specialized training for staff administering probation programs. Researchers from Sweden gave a presentation about their community-based treatment programs for violent criminals.
  • Workshop
 14th (Thu) – Ryohei Miyata, Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, gave a special presentation titled “The Moment of ‘TOKIMEKI’–Art and the Spirit of Offender Rehabilitation”, based on his over 10 years of experience contributing to youth rehabilitation programs.
 In addition, Mr. Asato Takasaka from the Re-offending Prevention Support Center Aichi, an NPO making efforts to prevent repeated youth delinquency, was a guest speaker that day. In his youth, Mr. Takasaka himself fell back into delinquent behaviors, and he spoke firsthand on the importance of getting a fresh start.
 Furthermore, a plenary session on public participation and public engagement in probation was held the same day where participants from Japan, Thailand, the Netherlands, and Australia discussed the current state of affairs in their home countries as well as current issues.

(Plenary Session themes)
・Volunteer Probation Officers in Japan ~ Community Volunteers Supporting Rehabilitation ~ (Japan)
・Development of Probation in ASEAN Countries (Thailand)
・Facilitating Offender Supervision and Re-Entry through Community Support Services: The Role of the Volunteer Probation Officers Program in Kenya (Kenya)
・Best Practices of CoSA in the Netherlands (Netherlands)
・Reducing Reoffending and Social Impact Investment in Australia (Australia)

Plenary Session

3. Outline of the 2nd Asia Volunteer Probation Officers Meeting and 3rd World Congress on Probation Official Reception

 The 2nd Asia Volunteer Probation Officers Meeting was held on the 12th (Tue). Reports were delivered on the current status of the volunteer probation officer system in each country (Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Kenya, China, Korea, Japan) and discussions were held to consider how such systems can be developed.
The 2nd Asia Volunteer Probation Officers Meeting
 The official reception was held at 6:00 pm on the 13th (Wed) at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa. In addition to the congress attendees, those related to offender rehabilitation such as volunteer probation officers and also officials from embassies in Japan attended the reception. Minister of Justice Kamikawa delivered welcome remarks at the beginning, stating that through this congress, it is hoped that community based treatment throughout the world would enhance collaboration with local communities.
 Also, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was present as a guest, and she welcomed the participants on behalf of Tokyo, where the congress was held. At the reception, there were events introducing various aspects of Japanese culture including a Japanese drum performance by ZUIHOU TAIKO and Awa dance performance by the Koenji Awa Dance Promotion Association, and participants deepened their relationships while the reception ended with great success.
Minister of Justice Kamikawa giving her greeting at the official reception
  • Awa dance performance
* Please click here for information about the 2nd World Congress on Probation.

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