Is Rehabilitation Essential in Probation Service? : A Socio-LEGAL Approach to Developing a Theory of Self-Correction?:

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Nirmal CHAKRABARTI, KIIT University, School of Law, India
The policy of inclusion of offenders to the mainstream through the process of self-correction in probation is a less traversed path of research. All the Probation Service Agencies adopt a rehabilitation programme to help the probationers for their ultimate return to normal life. The study raises the question: “Is rehabilitation essential in Probation Service ?” The study is based on (1) official data, (2) house-to-house survey, and (3) field observations. The research question in the study is that how without any rehabilitation programme or proper supervision, majority of the ex-probationers are able to lead a normal life by engaging themselves mostly in unskilled lawful occupation? To get answer to this question the author analyzed  (a) psychological,  (b)  criminological, and (c) sociological  variables. An analysis of the data reveals that majority of the probationers came from families with poor financial condition (66%), unskilled agricultural or industrial laborers (82.89%), illiterate(59.43%) rural background (65.71%) and their monthly income was unsatisfactory ($13)  (Source: Office of the Chief Probation Officer, India, West Bengal, Calcutta ).  From the study it is also revealed that (1) there is no voluntary or governmental programme of rehabilitation for the probationers in the state; (2) and sample survey of 100 ex-probationers clearly reveals that about 70% of them are able to lead a settled life with lawful activities and returned to normal life process; and (3) the state of affairs of probation supervision in the state is very poor and not up to the standards followed by many countries. Thus it can be concluded that  the probation system has an inherent efficiency of “self-correction” by which the system has survived for the last 175 years and will survive for a long time to come. Hence ‘Theory of ‘Self-correction’ should be considered as a process of rehabilitation in probation system.