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 White paper on crime 2004 Part2/Chapter5/Section1/2. 

2. Volunteer probation officers and their organizations

Volunteer probation officers, nongovernmental volunteers commissioned by the Minister of Justice,are assigned to any one of the905probation districts(as of April1,2004)across the country and are engaged in rehabilitation services to help probation officers through making use of their knowledge on the circumstances and social resources in communities.
  Although the Volunteer Probation Officer Law(Law No.204of1950)stipulates that the number of volunteer probation officers should not exceed52,500,as of January1,2004,there were assigned49,389officers throughout country(Source:Data by Rehabilitation Bureau,Ministry of Justice).
  As organizations of volunteer probation officers,there are Associations in each probation district,Federations of Associations in each prefecture(Hokkaido is divided into four areas)and Regional Federations of Associations,and the National Federation of Associations.Among them,district Associations and prefecture Federations are designated by the Volunteer Probation Officer Law.In order to enhance the activities of volunteer probation officers,these organizations carry out the following activities:designing plans for crime prevention activities;promoting liaison and coordination of volunteer probation officers;carrying out study on their duties and presenting their opinions;practicing training;carrying out PR activities;and promoting recruitment of new volunteer probation officers.