Restorative Justice

at post-sentencing level supporting and protecting victims

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


Victim support in practice of Probation and Mediation Service of the Czech Republic - advisory service for victims and Committee for the Conditional Release (CCR)

By Andrea Matoušková and Martin Jelínek


(...) as for the justice system, I can say, that the police officers and public prosecutors were great, but I think, that we – the victims – need them to speak less and listen more to what we have to say. We are shushed, but offenders, those that harmed us, are encouraged to say whatever they wish to say. And I find it unfair.” (j.m.m., victim of assault)‏. Howard Zehr: transcendenting. Reflections of crime victims, 2001.

The Probation and Mediation Service (“the Service” hereinafter) of the Czech Republic was established based on the code effective July 14, 2000, no. 257/2000 col., on the probation and mediation service. The Service operates in the Czech Republic, performing the activities in the filed of criminal justice especially by creating background for the effective decision-making regarding alternative criminal procedures and alternative penalties. Through its probation and mediation activities, the Service participates in the conflict resolution between the offender and the victim, and thus contributes to the re-established awareness and respect of legal standards. Repeated crime prevention and risk reduction are integral parts of the service’s mission. In the field of criminal justice, the service identified three major objectives:

  • the integration of the offender into the community (law-abiding behaviour and no further offending)

  • the participation of the victim in the criminal procedure (reparation, security, trust)

  • the protection of the community (prevention of any future offending behaviour)

The Service represents a new institution in the field of criminal justice policy and arises out of collaboration between two professions – social work and the law. Their linking-up has given rise to a new, multi-disciplinary profession within the system of criminal justice.

In presentation we will explain how the service implements the principles of restorative justice into the criminal proceeding stages in the Czech Republic, especially into the post-sentencing stage. We will present our idea how to support and help the victims to compensate for the crime and we will discuss our practical experiences from working with the victims. We can show our results from the two projects we are realising now: the project in which we have been providing specialized counselling for victims of crimes (in close cooperation with the association of citizen advice bureau - ngo) and the project in which we have been supporting victims to prepare their victim impact statement as the information for the conditional release decision making (in close cooperation with prison service).

Andrea Matouskova. After her studies in Social Work at the Charles University of Prague Andrea and began her doctoral studies in Sociology at the same university. She is skilled in the field of telephone child crisis intervention, restorative justice, mediation and conflict resolution. She has participated as a trainer in the Qualifying Education Programme for Probation and Mediation Service Officers and Assistants. She currently manages the department for analyses, methodology and conceptions at the Headquarters of Probation and Mediation Service of the Czech Republic in Prague. She is involved as the expert into the project of parole boards in the Czech Republic. She is the author of publications and professional articles which are aimed at social work with juvenile youth and social work in criminal justice.

Martin Jelinek studied Social Work at the Charles University of Prague, after his studies worked as social worker with asylum seekers for Refugee Facility Administration at Prague airport reception centre. He currently works as probation officer in Prague West Probation and Mediation Service (PMS) office. His specialization is community service, entry bans and house arrest. He is a member of a parole committee representing PMS during parole hearings in new project called Fragile chance. He lectures at Terciary School of Social Pedagogy and Theology in Prague.


With the financial support from the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibilty of "Schleswig-Holsteinischer Verband für soziale Strafrechtpflege; Straffälligen- und Opferhilfe e.V" and can in no way be taken to refect the views of the European Commission.