Latvian justice officials begin Canadian visit

The parole and probation system in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec will be studied Jan. 11-24 by a Latvian delegation led by Minister of Justice Aivars Aksenoks.

The delegation—which is to include 16 judges, prosecutors, police officials and future parole officers—will be learning how a similar system could be applied in Latvia, according to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, which organized the visit.

Latvia is interested in setting up a parole system as a means to reduce crime and the burden on the justice system, according to the Ministry of Justice. The Latvian Council of Ministers in November approved a plan to establish a state parole office.

During the visit to Canada, the Latvian delegation is to meet with their counterparts in Ottawa, learn about how the probation and parole system works in Canada, job shadow, and visit halfway houses and a regional treatment center.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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