Video release // Getting smart on crime

Since several years, CILC has been working in Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, and Indonesia on the development of national probation services. Probation has been introduced fairly recently in these countries, as part of the transformation from a punitive criminal justice system to a rehabilitative one.

 While working with the probation services in these countries, it was noticed that not every criminal justice professional or politician is ready to give up the punitive view that has been the guiding principle for decades. Yet the success of this transformation to a rehabilitative system is depending for a large part on the good understanding of the benefits of probation of those in charge of change. Therefore, the Center for International Legal Cooperation, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht produced ‘Get Smart About Crime’.

This video shows the benefits of probation, explained by people who have implemented, studied, and lived probation. Amongst them are:

  • John Remmers, ex-offender and lived-experience practitioner;
  • Sharon Dijksma, mayor of Utrecht;
  • Rinus Otte, Prosecutor General of the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands;
  • Jana Spero, Director General for Prison and Probation at the ministry of justice in Croatia;
  • Frank Porporino, Criminal Justice researcher and consultant.

 What to take away?

The title ‘Get Smart on Crime’ entails the main take-away of the video. As Mr. Porporino states in the video: To get tough on crime without being smart about the way we do it is a fool’s path. Imposing long, arduous sentences does not increase safety. It is not about just getting tough on crime. It is about getting smart on crime. Probation has shown to be a smart, social, and economic approach to justice. This video shows that all.

This video is made by Tasfilms ( and is available with English, Ukrainian, Serbian, Montenegrin, and Indonesian subtitles. Please reach out to CILC ( for the videos with these subtitles.

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