Implement rehabilitation programmes, Batari says

National

JUSTICE Elenas Batari has urged community leaders in the country to implement rehabilitation programmes in their communities for offenders who are on probation.
He suggested that in Kokopo on Monday when addressing a court-user forum.
He said the court allowed certain offenders into their community after considering issues.
The court usually releases them with conditions.
Batari said churches in communities should also take up this challenge and utilise manpower.
“We all have to ask ourselves the question of how effective this punishment is. How effective is it when the court allows offenders into their community on probation? How effective is that punishment?” Batari asked.
He said the main problem was with community work or rehabilitation programmes in communities.
“The court is able to release certain offenders to the communities based on certain issues, but are the communities efficient and effective with community or rehabilitation programmes?”
Batari said an offender could be on probation for 600 hours under supervision.
“How effective are supervision in the communities?” he asked.
Batari said probation had two conditions.
“Offenders must perform to their best in their communities to meet expectations while on probation or return to jail and complete jail time. If they are on reporting conditions, then it means they must report to the court monthly, quarterly or every six months.”
Batari said it was not certain whether those released on probation had adhered to probation orders.
He said this was because communities had not been providing supervision through well established rehabilitation programmes.
“This is a big issue. Lawyers, probation officers, police, ward members, churches, and community leaders must ask themselves if they are doing their best in ensuring that offenders on probation serve this punishment effectively.”

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