The Directorate General (DG) of Punjab Probation and Parole Service department has decided to launch the Offender Management Information System (OMIS) to integrate the data of criminals placed on probation and parole across Punjab including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad to make their monitoring process more effective.
District Officer of Probation and Parole Service Dr Hasan Raza revealed while addressing a two-day seminar held under the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan approved research project titled “Revamping Probation Services; Assessment of Risks and Needs and Strengths of Offenders on Probation in Punjab,” a news release said.
Dr Hassan informed that work on the OMIS was being carried out on war footing, adding for the first time rehabilitation centres for offenders on probation/parole were being set up to bring them back in the national mainstream and purge the society of anti-social elements. “A comprehensive strategy is being made to ensure the attendance of the offenders released on probation at the tehsil level.”The seminar was presided over by Prof Mazhar Hussain Bhutta, Principal Investigator of the project and Chairman of the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Pir Meher Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, while the persons released on probation, and students of MPhil and PhD were also present.
In his opening remarks, Prof Bhutta highlighted the objectives of the seminar and the project, stressing the need for capacity building of the probation officers /employees of the Directorate General of Punjab Probation and Parole Service.
“It needs to be increased, according to the international standard, a probation officer should not have more than 50 persons released on probation workload. The counselling and rehabilitation process cannot be effective due to the large number of persons released on probation.”
He said it had been observed that each probation officer had more than 1,000 persons released on probation in some districts of the Punjab province. “So, there is a need to take emergency measures to minimize this number.”
He said an increase in salaries and reinforcing the staff strength and establishment of rehabilitation centres would be beneficial in achieving the required goals.
He said the mandate of the Punjab Probation and Parole Services Department was to make the prisoners’ useful citizens of society with effective counselling and making up their minds for positive and constructive engagements, besides taking due care of their health, social, psychological, economic and needs. District Officer of Probation and Parole Service Dr Hasan Raza said earlier there was no regular centre for the rehabilitation of those released on probation, but the Punjab government had decided to establish the facilities in all districts of the province. Accordingly, he said, rehabilitation centres were being established in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi, while a suitable site was being identified for Rawalpindi. “Our institution has also started family counselling for the families of the probationers who are involved in various crimes so that they could help the person released on probation to become a useful citizen of the society.”