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Probation supervision for criminal offenses: what is provided by the new Law?

28.03.2024 will enter into force The Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes of Ukraine and other legislative acts of Ukraine on improving the types of criminal punishments" (hereinafter referred to as the Law).

It will introduce a new type of basic criminal punishment - probation supervision, which will be an alternative to imprisonment. The lawmaker notes that such changes will help to more effectively correct the behavior of convicts, relieve the burden of pretrial detention centers and reduce the financial costs of the state.

Therefore, in this article, we will consider the cases of application and features of such punishment.

Probation supervision involves the restriction of the rights and freedoms of the convict with application to him supervisory and social-educational measures, at the same time, without isolation from society.

This means that when imposing a sanction in the form of probation supervision, the court will not send the guilty party to a penal institution, but will determine a certain list of duties for him. Among them, there are those that are set always and without exception, as well as optional ones.

Mandatory and optional measures

The duties imposed on the convicted person in any case include:

- periodically appear at the probation authority for registration;

- notify the probation authority about a change of place of residence, study or work;

- not to leave Ukraine without the consent of the probation authority.

As we can see, despite the possibility of participating in a video conference established in the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine, the Law only provides for an in-person visit to the probation authority.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may additionally oblige the convicted person to:

- use an electronic means of supervision and control for a period of 1 month to 1 year;

- live at the address specified in the court decision;

- comply with requirements or restrictions regarding certain actions, communication, movement and leisure activities;

- get a job or, on the referral of the probation authority, apply to the state employment service for registration and get a job if offered a job;

- to carry out measures provided for by the probation program;

- undergo a course of treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, mental disorders, etc.

It is assumed that probationary supervision will be appointed for a period of time from one to five years. At the same time, a deadline is set for minors from one to two years.

The new Law also clearly defines criminal offenses for which probation supervision may be applied. At the same time, probation supervision or replaces such type of punishment as arrest in the sanction of the corresponding article or becomes another possible punishment.

It is not about all criminal offenses, but only about certain categories criminal misdemeanors and minor crimes. In particular, this applies to offenses against human life and health, property, in the field of violation of labor rights, in the field of drug trafficking, etc.

At the same time, this type of punishment will not be applied for all serious and especially serious crimes, including crimes against the foundations of national security of Ukraine, war crimes.

Thus, probation supervision can be assigned only if it is provided for in the relevant article of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the procedure for serving the sentence in the form of probation supervision, as well as the consequences of the convict's failure to fulfill his duties.

Therefore, if the convict evades serving the sentence in the form of probation supervision, the probation authority will send a corresponding application to the National Police authorities to resolve the issue of arresting the convict to criminal liability in accordance with Article 389 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Evasion from serving a sentence in the form of probation supervision will be considered:

- non-fulfilment without valid reasons three or more times of the duties assigned to the convicted person by the court decision;

- committing three or more administrative offenses.

In addition, if a person commits any criminal offense while serving a sentence in the form of probation supervision, then the court will no longer impose this type of punishment.

On the other hand, if the convict does not commit a new criminal offense within a year after serving the sentence in the form of probation supervision, the criminal record will be expunged.

All of the above indicates that the new Law will really contribute to the humanization of the penitentiary system and the expansion of opportunities for the correction of convicts without isolation from society, which has been needed for a long time.

However, there is still a need to improve its provisions, for example, by providing the possibility of remote visits to probation authorities and remote work with the probation inspector. This will contribute to the realization of the guaranteed rights of convicts, especially in the conditions of martial law.

The original article is published on the website JURLIGA.


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