Organization and Administration of Probation

Organization and Administration of Probation

There is diversity in the administrative systems of probation in different states. In some States, the probation departments are under the control of the social welfare departments and in some others under the prison departments, in one state (Madhya Pradesh) under the law department and in another state (Karnataka) it functions as an independent department.

The states in which probation is under the control of social welfare departments are:
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Delhi
The states in which it is under the control of the prison departments are:
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Kerala
  • Bihar
  • Bengal
  • Punjab

In Maharashtra and Gujarat, the probation department functions as a semi-government department.

The Director, Social welfare department or the Inspector general, the Prison department is the Administrative in-charge at the state level. He has authorised as the Chief probation officer.

Some States have appointed regional probation officers also. Probation officers function at the district level. some States have the system of appointing assistant probation officers also, while a few have the practice of appointing part-time Probation officers too.

Diversity in the administrative systems of probation has raised some crucial questions. Is it better to have probation controlled by a court or by a non-judicial agency? Experts on the subject have different answers to this question.

Others have argued that the success of probation required flexibility in approach and courts do not permit that kind of flexibility but are rather rigid. Besides, the judges have neither the time nor the training to enable them to assume responsibility for administering probation.

The prison department is generally considered a corrupt department cannot be expected to contribute to its successful functioning. It may, therefore, be said that probation departments should function as an independent department.

Equally necessary are programs like:
  • 1. Training of probation officers to be done from time to time
  • 2. Holding periodical meetings of probation officers at the state level for discussing problems of mutual interest
  • 3. Developing uniform standards for professional services
  • 4. Investigating and evaluating the work of probation officers
  • 5. Collecting, analysing publishing statistical information and other facts regarding probation work in the state
  • 6. Furnishing special services like psychiatric examination in the areas where provision officers are unable to arrange such services.

Inter-state contacts regarding reciprocity in the arrange supervision of probationers are equally important. Transfer of probationers from one state to another may be necessary in special cases. Rules may be framed to make such transfers possible.

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