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What’s the role of a Volunteer Probation Officer (VPO)? Showcasing Japan

Japan has been a leader in volunteer-based probation since 1888. Their early start has influenced probation systems around the world, showcasing the importance of community support in rehabilitation. According to a recent article by Fumiko Akashi, as the end of 2015, there were 36,100 probationers and parolees In Japan, supervised and assisted by 1000 professional probation officers and nearly 48.000 volunteer probation officers (VPOs).


What’s their role, then? VPOs mainly guide and assist offenders in their respective communities, serving as essential figures in their rehabilitation and promoting community understanding. They provide a deep understanding of the local environment, personalized supervision, and consistent interaction during the rehabilitation journey.


The case of Japan in presented in the CoPPer evidence review, alongside other useful examples from Kenya, Germany, as well as all countries involved in the CoPPer project. Stay tuned for more info on the advantages of volunteer-based probation!

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