The main objective of probation supervision is to make the society safer by implementing alternatives for imprisonment. Setting such an objective is based on a precondition that a person who has committed a criminal offence can be left in the freedom, if in addition to surveillance over him; efforts are being made to change the person’s criminogenic behaviour. Thus, probation supervision work consists of two sides – of surveillance and fostering the social adjustment. These measures help to reduce repeated crimes by increasing that way the safety of society.
Estonian probation supervision system started to function on 1st May 1998. The probation supervision work is done by the probation supervision departments of the Tallinn Prison, the Tartu Prison and the Viru Prison that are divided into regional divisions.
The contents of the probation supervisor’s work is to find out the risks of committing a new criminal offence and plan together with a probationer means for avoiding the commission of a new criminal offence while co-operating with the state and local government structural units and non-profit associations.
A probation officer is expected to have higher education (preferably in social area) and good stress tolerance. Voluntary probation workers are also involved in probation supervision who work in their free time without receiving remuneration.