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Community Resources in Korean Probation System
Community Resources in Korean Probation System
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December 01, 2020


■ The Purpose and methods of the Study ○ The Purpose of the Study - The purpose of the study is to analyze the operation of ‘the Honorary Probation Officers’ and ‘the Probation Members’ (the main focus of the study is on the latter), both of which have been newly established in 2017 and 2019, respectively, in order to present policy alternatives by which community resources can be actively utilized in the Probation System. ○ Methods of the Study - To review official records and examine the relevant theories concerning the Probation System - To conduct surveys and in-depth interviews regarding volunteer - To analyze domestic and international cases regarding the Study ■ The Current status of the Probation System and the theoretical frameworks ○ The Current status of the Probation System - The number of probation case started from 8,3890 in 1989 and has dramatically increased to 100,988 in 1997 and to 212,940 in 2019, almost 25.4-fold rise in number in thirty years when compared to the number in 1989. - The prescribed number of probation officers was 230 in 1989. Since then, such prescribed number has been gradually increased every year and skyrocketed to 250 at the year of 2007. Nevertheless, the accumulated number of probation officers is 1,592 as of the end of 2019. The current practice shows that, on average, every probation officer is assigned with 112 people on probation, exceptionally higher than that of the OECD’s average of 27.3. - The Guiding Member System was introduced by the Probation Act that became effective on July 1, 1989. Around that time, there were nearly 3,300 Guiding Members. Since 1990, a number of celebrities have been made as an honorary Guiding Member. And, the number of Guiding Members exceeded 10,000 in 1995 after the Guidance Committee was merged with the College Chapter of the Rehabilitation and Protection Committee in 1994. - As the [Regulation Concerning Crime Prevention Volunteers] Reg. No. 363 was established by the Ministry of Justice on June 12, 1996, the existing Rehabilitation Committee, Juvenile-Guidance Committee and Protection Committee were all merged into ‘the Crime-Prevention Volunteer Committee’. In accordance with the establishment of [Act on Probation and Etc.] (Act No. 5178) in 1997, the new name ‘the Crime-Prevention Volunteer’ was replaced with the old one ‘the Protection Member’. - The ‘Regulation Concerning Crime Prevention Volunteers’ (Reg. No. 934, the Ministry of Justice) was amended in February, 2014 in order to promote the active participation of the Crime-Prevention Members. The existing names for ‘the member of the Crime Prevention Volunteer Committee’, ‘the Guidance Committee’ and ‘the Local Community Association’ were respectively replaced with ‘the Law-Loving Committee’, ‘the Policy Committee’, and ‘the Organization for Promotion of Regional Collaboration’; and, the following councils have been newly established: ‘the Youth Justice Advisory Council’, ‘the Probation Member Council’, and ‘the Protection and Welfare Council’. - As the Korean society pays a great deal of attention to a series of juvenile crimes such as a battery case involving ‘a blooded female middle school student in Busan’ which happened in September, 2017, the ‘Honorary Probation Officer’ System has been instituted to prepare continuous and effective countermeasures against juvenile crimes. A group of the following members were appointed as the Honorary Probation Officers: (i) professional juvenile counselors; (ii) Psychologists/Addiction Counselors; and (iii) learning advisors/vocational-training advisors (A total of 1,246 as of December, 2018). - The Crime Prevention Policy Bureau adopted [the Guidelines for the Probation Members] in February, 2019 and replaced the name ‘the Crime Prevention Volunteer’ of the Probation and Parole Office’ with ‘the Probation Member’. In March, 2019, 4,393 new members were appointed as the Probation Members. ○ Theoretical discussion - While volunteers in the Probation System can be viewed as an individual, these volunteers may be grouped as a type of Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) or Nonprofitable Organization (NPO) from a macroscopic point of view. Given that changing from the conventional concept of NGO, which receives government fund or subsidy, it needs to expand the volunteer operation and strengthen the support of the said volunteers in the Probation System based upon the independence and self-motivation of the civil society, the Study found its theoretical basis in theories concerning NGO. - In this paper, after reviewing the overview of the concept of NGO, it will discuss a total of 7 theories, including ‘Public-Goods theory’ or ‘Entrepreneurship theory’, regarding the advent and the development of NGO. Given that the Study finds the noteworthy role of NGO in the policy-making process, it aims to (i) investigate the role of NGO in the following policy-making process in order: agenda setting - policy-making - implementation and assessment, (ii) to conclude prior discussions regarding donation and volunteering, and (iii) to introduce the so-called “NGO failure theory” made by Salamon (1987). While the previous studies have discussed the positive aspects of NGOs playing a role in crime prevention and criminal justice, the study briefly mentions such aspect of NGOs. ■ Survey on Perspectives of the Probation Officers and the Probation Members □ Survey Method ○ A survey was taken of 51 Probation Office and local Probation Offices (total number) to see respondents’ perspective of the Probation Officers and the Probation Members. In specific, there are two types of survey questionnaire: 1. the Survey type ‘For Probation Office Employees Only’ designed for Chief Officer (or Director of Administrative Support) and each government employees who are respectively in charge of juvenile delinquency, probation, attendance order, social service order and electronic monitoring; and 2. ‘For Probation Members Only’ with the target number of 15 responses Abstract 173 from 2 or more respondents who are in charge of aid support, counseling, social service, attendance order. ○ The survey questionnaire includes a set of questions to examine perspectives of the Probation Members in terms of their recruitment, job training, activities, assessment, the Probation System and compensation - 74 questions for the survey type ‘For Probation Members Only’ and 48 questions for the survey type ‘For Probation Office Employees Only’. □ Sample ○ Sample Size: 294 survey questionnaires are finally collected for the type ‘For Probation Office Employees Only’; and, 714 for the type ‘For Probation Members Only’. - For Probation Office Employees, 14% of the respondents are public officials of Class 5 and above; and, 20% are public officials of Class 6 through Class 9. In case of the ‘For Probation Members Only’, small business owners (entrepreneurs) take up a largest percentage of 23% (166 respondents), followed by counselors (159 respondents, 22.3%), social workers (social welfare services) (79 respondents, 11.0%) and housewives (49 respondents, 6.9%). □ Analysis ○ Recruitment - Mostly, the Probation Members came to learn about the Probation Member Service though the Crime Prevention Volunteering Service and decided to join the Probation Members because they want to help in crime prevention and criminal justice for the local community (44.0%) or use their knowledge and experience in practice (19.5%). ○ Education - Most of the Probation Members (84.9%) have been given training program(s) once or more than once and agreed to the necessity of such training at work (45.0% for ‘Very Needed’; 49.3% for ‘Generally Needed’). It shows that the following two programs are most necessary education for the Probation Members: “professional education on psychological and correctional counseling for the probation subject” and “guidelines concerning attitudes and roles of the Probation Members”. It also shows that regarding the training methods, the Probation Members most prefers the off-line education (47.5%) as compared to online education (17.9%), and a combination of offline and online classes (28.6%). And, most of the Probation Member Respondents prefers to have such training once per quarter. ○ Activities - It shows that the Probation Members are in charge of counseling is assigned with 1.18 probationers on average (Min. = 1) and mostly conduct counseling session once a month (less than once a week). However, it shows that at the stage of assigning a probationer, work experience or personal opinion of the Probation Member is not given much weight much taken into consideration (60.1%). It also shows that nearly 26% of the Probation Members in charge of aid support spends expenditure added up to 100,000 won per month relating to their aid support service whereas those in charge of attendance order were most likely to provide their probation service once or more than once a month (less than once per week) (30%) for less than 2 hours per service. Likewise, it shows that the Probation Officers in the social service sector serve once or more than once per month (less than once a week) (39.7%) and that the average service time is less than Abstract 175 an hour per session (28.1%). - Most of the Probation Member respondents answered that they would like to continue their service (“Very Likely” 47.5%, “Somewhat Likely” 40.1%) on a continuous basis and that they were generally satisfied with their probation service (“Very Likely” 31.5%, “Somewhat Likely” 47.6%) - In case of public officials, more than half of the total respondents, nearly 54%, answered that the Probation Members lacked basic knowledge (“Very Lacking” 47.9%, “Extremely Lacking” 5.78%) whereas only 23% of the respondents answered that the Probation Members showed a lack of proficiency in their service. ○ The Probation System - 37.4% of the public official respondents chose the answer “difficulty of management of the Probation Members” to the question of what is most difficult in utilizing the Probation Member System. And the public official respondents were likely to perceive that utilization of the Probation Member System did not have an impact on the workload reduction (58%). Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that such respondents (40.1%) answered it necessary to use the volunteers from the local community for the probation work. - Regarding the compensation of the Probation Members, only about 21% (average 2.84) of the public official respondents chose the answer that it has been sufficient to provide full reimbursement for the actual expenses incurred by the Probation Members in doing their probation service; however, nearly 59% respondents answered that it would be necessary to actively develop a plan for the Probation Members such as anticrime reward program to increase their engagement in the probation service. ■ A Case Study on the effective use by private organizations of volunteers (domestic) and implications ○ Background and Reasons for the Case Study - Although continuous efforts have been made to improve the Probation System, it still needs to be improved in terms of the use of volunteers in the Probation System. - For the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the Probation System, it is necessary to examine the private organization cases where it was successful to procure human and material resources for nonprofit activities and to focus on the implications for policy. ○ Mobilization and use by domestic, private organizations of human resources - The private organizations with the limited resources have accumulated experiences and know-how as to fund-raising and use/management of volunteers to accomplish their goals. - As an effort to strengthen the managerial capacity and to secure sustainable development and expertise of the volunteers, [they private organizations] have the operating system for volunteers concerning volunteer recruitment, operation, HR management, performance management, appraisal, and others, which is centered on the motivation and needs of such volunteers. - Several studies and papers have described that there is a correlation among the sustainability of volunteering, motivation, satisfaction and fulfillment of the volunteers, the standard deviation result of which may vary depending on how much effort an individual organization exerts on its operation and management. ○ Example of the active use of volunteers in the private sector - Based on the level of proactivity, there are two types of volunteer Abstract 177 recruitment and operation: 1. Recruitment led by organizations and 2. Volunteering initiated by volunteers who actively searched out organizations or institutions to serve as volunteers. In this Study, the former type will be only discussed. - The following cases are examined as a general example of volunteering service: 1. Community service activities which have been carried out by the Korean Red Cross to provide relief activities for the victims of unexpected disasters and customized service for the underprivileged people ; 2. the so-called ‘Vision Maker’ by which the World Vision provides translation service for children in need to send their letters to sponsors ; and, 3. The Beautiful Store’s Volunteers, so-called “Angels”, who are involved in the recycle of donated items at the shops and circulation centers of the Beautiful Store. - The organization ‘Youth Embracing the World’ is another successful case whose contents are similar to the Probation System. It has shown a creative approach to reflect counseling, social service, class attendance, community service in the operation system and, in fact, has successfully facilitated juvenile offenders back into the society by changing intrinsic and external environmental factors which cause recidivism of juvenile offenders. ○ According to the case studies shown above, successful volunteer program has the following characteristics: - The organizations have an original and elaborate operation system for volunteers centered on their values and philosophies. - There are guidelines for reference in terms of (i) definition of volunteering, (ii) the scope of service, (iii) required qualifications of volunteers, (iv) task instructions, (v) detailed R&R, and (vi) management plan. - It increases the levels of motivation and satisfaction of volunteers by explaining them the meaningfulness of volunteer work through customized volunteer engagement plan for each individual volunteer. - It has a long-term plan to elicit continuous support and attention from volunteers in order to turn such volunteers into sponsors. ○ Implications - It needs to differentiate long-term goals from short-term approach in making plans to invigorate volunteer activities. - In the long-term, it needs to take a philosophical, innovative approach to revoke fundamental changes to the criminal environment. It seems also necessary to unite perspectives and goals of stakeholders by presenting roadmaps and procedures as a strategic tool for guiding the development and improvement of the Probation System. - In the short term, the Probation System needs to get improved in the following aspects: 1) development and application of the standard volunteer operation system 2) development of integrated volunteer education system and curriculum 3) professional training and education for volunteer managers 4) operation of 2-tier volunteer opportunities in the Probation System depending on a prospective volunteer’s proficiency 5) expansion of incentives for volunteers in the Probation System such as compensation, reward, or others. ■ Suggestion ○ In general, two problems have been identified with the current Probation Member System. - First, it is difficult to manage the Probation Members. It shows that the Abstract 179 biggest challenge facing the probation staffs in utilizing the Probation Member System is the “probation member management” (37.41%) whereas the Probation Members pointed out frequent rotation of probations staffs at the Probation Office. - Second, there are operational issues with the Probation Member Council and the Organization for Promotion of Regional Collaboration. The survey indicates that there is no big problem in general, but that on the interview with public officials who served as probation staffs and the Probation Members, a number of probation staffs and the Probation Members raised such issues relating to operation of the Probation Member System. In specific, the fact that each service sector of the Probation Member System (aid support, counseling, social service and attendance order) has different function and membership makes it difficult to form a united association of the Probation Members. And, it was mentioned that the Organization for Promotion of Regional Collaboration was rushed out before the regional councils of the Probation Members had a chance to settle down. ○ Policy alternatives based on the results of case study - (Direction) Regarding forms of service, it needs to change from (i) individual basis to group-centered basis and from (ii) government initiative model to community initiative model. To that end, it is necessary to make use of the Probation Member Council as a center axis for collaboration between the Probation and the local community. Although it should ultimately aim at leading private local organizations and individuals to get involved in community correction, it first needs to break down the ‘“walls” between different departments of the office under the value of community justice and to make police, prosecution’s office, and courts all together collaborate with one another. - (Recruitment and marketing) It needs to draw more attention from the public. Given that probation is “social treatment” to promote correction and rehabilitation of criminals, the Probation System should welcome community participation in its service. To that end, it is necessary to provide people as well as private and public organizations (i.e., school, NGO and religious institution) in the local community with education regarding the role of the Probation System in the society and conduct marketing activities to request for their support and participation. Furthermore, for the purpose of deterrence, it is also necessary to promote donation among people so that it can timely support juveniles on probation, who are not given sufficient aid supports from its local Probation Office. - (Education) It shows that the followings are necessary: (i) promotion of online education; (ii) systematization and reinforcement of education, (iii) staff training on the Probation Member System. Most of the Probation Members who were surveyed answered that systematic and comprehensive education would be necessary for the probation service. And it shows that the Probation Members generally prefers the offline class; however, a considerable amount of respondents answered that they would like to have online learning or a combination of on-line and offline learning. On the other hand, the probation staffs in charge of the Probation Members answered on the FGI interview that education of the Probation Member System seems necessary because they are not seriously aware of the importance of the Probation Member System and even do not fully know how such system has been implemented - (Compensation) The followings are necessary: (i) to register as a volunteer with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (1365); (ii) to improve the donation process; (iii) to render the better treatment for the Probation Abstract 181 Members; and others. Support in Volunteer registration and issuance of donation receipt do not require a late amount of budget. In addition, it is necessary to provide a better compensation to those of the Probation Members who served on a continuous basis or made a significant contribution to the Probation Member System. - (The Probation Member Council and the Organization for Promotion of Regional Collaboration) It needs to promote active communication through national conventions, which accordingly requires financial support for effective operation. Opening a national convention is not only an opportunity to promote bonding between members but also a chance to share the best practices of each probation service sector such as aid support, counseling, social service order, and attendance, which in fact may benefit the Probation Members. Furthermore, financial support is required in order for the Probation Member Council to play an active role in compensation as well as connection with the subject matter on probation - for example, it needs to assign a staff in charge of administration (an employee or the Probation Member) of the Probation Service only and give some office space to such staff. ○ Reflection on the Probation Member System and Prospects for the future - It was public officials’ sacrifice and endeavors that made possible the successful operation of the Probation Member System. Beyond secure management of criminal offenders on probation, the current goal of the Korean Probation System, we should move forward with the new target to re-integrate criminal offenders completely back into society. To that end, the Probation Member System may therefore play a key role since it requires active participation from local community for advancement of the Probation Member System. - Although there exist various problems concerning the Probation Member Council and the Organization for Promotion of Regional Collaboration, as discussed earlier in this paper, it is confirmed that the Probation Members have accomplished their missions to protect juvenile criminals on probation and prevent crimes amid many difficulties facing them. Also, it needs to turn the current Probation System into group-centered, community-initiative system from the individual-basis and government initiative model for the purpose of successful rehabilitation and reintegration of criminals on probation back into community, which can be supported by various case studies of how these organizations, whether international or domestic, reinforced efficiency and social responsibilities, as previously discussed in the paper.

Junhwi Park

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Kwanghyun Ra

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Heekyun Park

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Sinae Hwang

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