Strengthening competencies and promoting Restorative Justice in probation José Santos November 14, 2022

Strengthening competencies and promoting Restorative Justice in probation

With a focus on Restorative Justice, a European expert group is developing a flexible and multidisciplinary Vocational Education and Training (VET) model for probation services and practitioners.

Along with an increased focus on rehabilitation brought on by a slow but steady reform trend in Justice systems across Europe and around the world, the role of practitioners is also changing.

In probation services, staff increasingly require competencies to manage a growing number of offenders. Moreover, case management is more and more complex and involves multiple entities, namely governmental institutions, non-profit organisations, and operators supporting them.

Beyond that, it is imperative to prepare probation professionals to play an increasingly active role in promoting rehabilitation and reintegration according to the principles of Restorative Justice. It is essential not only to sensitise staff towards offenders, stressing the importance of giving them a real chance of reintegration into the community but to provide them with tools to do it.

Vocational Education and Training for the modern day probation officer


The Probationet project was specifically created to address the intricate environment of case management and restorative justice in probation systems. The initiative will develop a VET programme for probation officers and other staff playing a part in the probation setting.

With a multidisciplinary approach, this cutting-edge training model will address new and emergent training and education requirements. The training curriculum aims to develop competencies in case management and enhance social, communication, and relationship skills.

The programme will prepare staff to promote the social inclusion of offenders by providing a fresh approach to their mission while increasing awareness of psychosocial factors leading to racism and intolerance.

The VET model that is underway takes into account the need for flexibility, which will allow it to be implemented across European jurisdictions despite their different legal frameworks and needs.

Probationet is also developing an online platform (the PROB-T repository) that will house the developed e-learning courses and other resources that probation staff and agencies can easily access.

The project had its official kick-off meeting on the 18th and 19th of July 2022. which has been Organised by the project partner University of Tuscia in Viterbo, Italy, it gathered representatives from the entire project consortium to discuss the next steps in the initiative’s development.

Know more about this project


A flexible, multidisciplinary and transnational VET model for the PROBATION services and practitioners


The Probationet project is led by the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Greece), and partnered by  IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal), University of Tuscia (Italy), CRSL (Centro Ricerche e Studi dei Laghi) (Italy), the General Directorate Execution of Sentences (Bulgaria), the Directorate-General for Reintegration and Prison Services (Portugal), EPANODOS – The Greek Centre for the Social Reintegration of Ex-offenders (Greece) and the Ministry of Justice – Ankara Probation Directorate (Turkey).

To learn more about this project visit

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