Volunteer Probation Officers Act


Published: 2007

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Volunteer Probation Officers Act

(Act No. 204 of May 25, 1950)

(Mission of Volunteer Probation Officers) Article 1 The mission of all volunteer probation officers shall be, in the spirit of

volunteer social service, to assist persons who have committed crimes and juvenile delinquents to improve and rehabilitate themselves, and to enlighten the public on crime prevention, thereby enhancing the local community and contributing to the welfare of both individuals and the public.

(Designated Districts and Set Numbers of Volunteer Probation Officers)

Article 2 (1) Volunteer probation officers shall be appointed in accordance with prefectural districts (hereinafter referred to as "probation districts") designated by the Minister of Justice.

(2) The total number of volunteer probation officers shall not exceed 52,500 throughout the country.

(3) The set number of volunteer probation officers in each probation district shall be determined by the Minister of Justice in consideration of the population, economy, the status of crimes, and other factors of the locality.

(4) The authority of the Minister of Justice as prescribed in paragraph (1) and the preceding paragraph may be entrusted to the regional parole board.

(Recommendation and Delegation)

Article 3 (1) Volunteer probation officers shall be delegated by the Minister of Justice from among persons who have all of the qualifications in the following items: (i) The person is highly evaluated in terms of character and conduct in the

community; (ii) The person is enthusiastic and has enough time available to accomplish the

necessary duties; (iii) The person is financially stable; and (iv) The person is healthy and active.

(2) The Minister of Justice may entrust the power for delegation set forth in the preceding paragraph to the chairperson of the regional parole board.

(3) Delegations as set forth in the preceding two paragraphs shall be made from among the persons recommended by the director of the probation office.

(4) The director of the probation office shall, when recommending the persons set forth in the preceding paragraph, hear the opinions of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission in advance.

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(Disqualification)

Article 4 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall not be qualified as a volunteer probation officer: (i) An adult ward or a person under curatorship; (ii) A person sentenced to imprisonment without work or a heavier

punishment; or (iii) A person who, on or after the day of enforcement of the Constitution of

Japan, has formed or become a member of a political party or any other organization which advocates the overthrow by force of the Constitution of Japan or the government existing under the Constitution.

(Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commissions)

Article 5 (1) Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commissions shall be established at the probation offices.

(2) A Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission shall be composed of a maximum of 13 members (a maximum of 15 in the case of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission established at the probation office corresponding to the territorial jurisdiction of the Tokyo District Court) and one member shall be the chairperson.

(3) No salary shall be given to any member of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission.

(4) In addition to what is provided for in this Act, the organization, jurisdictional affairs, members, and administrative procedures of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission shall be provided by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

Article 6 Deleted

(Term of Office) Article 7 A volunteer probation officer's term of office shall be two years.

However this shall not preclude him/her from being re-appointed.

(Area wherein the Officer Performs His/Her Duties) Article 8 The volunteer probation officer shall perform his/her duties within the

probation district wherein he/she has been posted; provided, however, that this shall not apply when said volunteer probation officer is otherwise ordered by the regional parole board or the director of the probation office.

(Fulfillment of Duties)

Article 8-2 A volunteer probation officer shall, upon being designated by the

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regional parole board or the director of the probation office, perform the duties pertaining to the jurisdiction of the regional parole board or the probation office concerned, as well as performing the following duties pertaining to the jurisdiction of said probation office, in accordance with the items prescribed in the plans of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Association for which the relevant director of the probation office has given his/her approval: (i) Enlightenment and publicity in order to assist persons who have committed

crimes and juvenile delinquents to improve and rehabilitate themselves or in order to promote crime prevention;

(ii) Cooperation in the activities of private organizations in order to assist persons who have committed crimes and juvenile delinquents to improve and rehabilitate themselves or in order to promote crime prevention;

(iii) Cooperation in the measures of local governments which contribute to crime prevention; and

(iv) Any other activities which contribute to assisting persons who have committed crimes and juvenile delinquents improve and rehabilitate themselves or that promote crime prevention as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

(Service Principles)

Article 9 (1) Volunteer probation officers shall be conscious of their mission, make efforts to develop a noteworthy character and broad vision and acquire the knowledge and techniques necessary for performance of their duties, while carrying out their duties with a positive attitude.

(2) Volunteer probation officers shall respect the confidentiality of the relevant parties relating to the personal affairs which they have come to know in the course of their duties, and shall strive to maintain the good name of their position.

Article 10 Deleted

(Payment of Expenses) Article 11 (1) No salary shall be paid to volunteer probation officers. (2) Volunteer probation officers may, pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance of

the Ministry of Justice and within the limits of the budget, be reimbursed for the expenses needed for the performance of their duties, in whole or in part.

(Discharge)

Article 12 (1) When a volunteer probation officer has come to fall under any one of the items of Article 4, the Minister of Justice shall discharge the volunteer probation officer.

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(2) When a volunteer probation officer has come to fall under any of the following items, the Minister of Justice may discharge the volunteer probation officer at the request of the director of the probation office: (i) Where he/she no longer fulfills any of the requirements for the qualifications

given in the items of paragraph (1) of Article 3; (ii) Where he/she has contravened or neglected his/her official duties; or (iii) Where he/she has committed an act unbecoming of a volunteer probation

officer. (3) The director of the probation office shall, when making the request pursuant

to the provisions set force in the preceding paragraph, hear the opinions of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Screening Commission in advance.

(4) A discharge as set forth in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) shall not be carried out unless the volunteer probation officer concerned has been informed of the reason and has been given an opportunity to defend himself/herself. However, this shall not apply when the discharge is because he/she has come to fall under item (i) or (ii) of Article 4.

(Volunteer Probation Officers' Association)

Article 13 (1) The volunteer probation officers shall establish a Volunteer Probation Officers' Association for each probation district.

(2) The duties of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Association shall be to conduct the following affairs: (i) Formulation of plans as prescribed in Article 8-2 and liaison and

coordination concerning the duties of volunteer probation officers; (ii) Collection of necessary materials and information concerning the duties of

volunteer probation officers; (iii) Study and announcement of opinions concerning the duties of volunteer

probation officers; and (iv) Any other matters deemed necessary for the smooth and effective

performance of volunteer probation officers' duties, as provided by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

(Federation of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations)

Article 14 (1) The Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations shall establish a Federation of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations for every prefecture. However, in Hokkaido, a Federation of the Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations shall be established for every region as designated by the Minister of Justice.

(2) The duties of the Federation of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations shall be to conduct the following affairs: (i) Liaison and coordination concerning the duties of Volunteer Probation

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Officers' Associations; (ii) Collection of necessary materials and information concerning the duties of

volunteer probation officers; (iii) Study and announcement of opinions concerning the duties of volunteer

probation officers; and (iv) Any other matters deemed necessary for the smooth and effective

performance of volunteer probation officers' duties or the functions of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations, as provided for by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

(Delegation of Necessary Matters Concerning Volunteer Probation Officers'

Associations to Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice) Article 15 In addition to the matters provided in this Act, any other necessary

matters concerning the Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations and the Federations of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations shall be provided by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

(Commendation)

Article 16 The Minister of Justice shall give consideration to commending volunteer probation officers, Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations, and Federations of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations, which have rendered distinguished service, and giving publicity to such service.

(Cooperation of Local Governments)

Article 17 The local government may, in light of the fact that the activities of the volunteer probation officers, Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations and Federations of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations assist persons who have committed crimes and juvenile delinquents to improve and rehabilitate themselves, prevent crimes, and contribute to the safety of the community and improvement of the welfare of its residents, extend cooperation to the activities of the volunteer probation officers, Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations and Federations of Volunteer Probation Officers' Associations as necessary.

(Delegation to Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice)

Article 18 The procedures for enforcing this Act and other detailed regulations necessary for its implementation shall be provided by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.

Supplementary Provisions

Abbreviated

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