In 2001, within the Institute for Penal Reform (IPR), was set up a working group in the field of alternatives to detention with the aim of introducing in the legislation of the Republic of Moldova some measures to analyse the legislative framework regulating the system of criminal punishments and preventive measures. In 2003, a group of international experts was formed to conduct a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) which aimed to implement measures for the resocialization and reintegration of offenders in Moldova (Probation), including a measure on the legal framework, infrastructure issues, societal attitudes, obstacles and possible impact. Because of the recommendations of the Assessment Mission, a Working Group was set up in August 2003 with the task of drafting the legal framework in the field of probation. In parallel, some activities related to penitentiary probation were carried out and the Law on probation was completed, which was a further elaboration of the regulations contained in the Enforcement Code. Furthermore, were established the procedure and the way of drafting reports on pre-sentence probation for minors.
The IPR in partnership with UNICEF Moldova, in autumn 2003, started a project "Alternatives to detention for children in the criminal justice system" aiming to promote alternatives for children, and in particular pre-sentence and sentenced probation for children in the criminal justice system.
During 2003 - 2005 the IPR Project was implemented jointly with the Soros-Moldova Foundation "Reform of the penal sanctions system and implementations of alternatives to detention" aiming to implement alternative measures of detention: initiation and improvement of the existing system of application of alternatives by amending the legislation and creating a system of monitoring the application of alternatives.
In 2006, the Institute for Penal Reform, within the project "Promotion of alternatives to detention in the Republic of Moldova", carried out activities for the implementation of pre-sentence probation for adults; activities for the social reintegration of persons sentenced on probation; activities aiming to apply and uniformly execute the sentence of unpaid community service at national level; research and public information activities.
Between June 2007 and March 2008, the IPR Project was implemented jointly with the Soros-Moldova Foundation "Promotion the alternatives to detention in the Republic of Moldova", establishing probation activities for adults, increasing the number of counsellors (one each in Ungheni and Cahul), drafting the Regulation on the status of probation counsellor, the Instruction on probation supervision and the Training curriculum for probation counsellors.
In 2007 by the Government Decision no. 44 of 12.01.2007 were introduced amendments to the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Enforcement, which stipulated the organization of probation activity by governmental bodies. Also by this Decision, the Directorate of enforcement of non-custodial criminal sanctions is reorganized into the Probation Directorate and 125 additional staff units are allocated. From this moment in Moldova, the Probation Service is formed within the Department of Enforcement under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova.
On February 14, 2008, the Law on probation is adopted and became effective on September 13, 2008. The Probation Service within the Department of Enforcement carries out the probation work. The Probation Directorate - a specialized structure, which through the probation sections of the enforcement offices, implements non-custodial criminal sentences and exercises probation with persons released from criminal punishment. There were 42 probation sections within the enforcement offices (according to the administrative-territorial division of the Republic). The staff of the probation sections are probation counsellors with the status of civil servants (state employees). Total number of staff of the probation sections - 169 employees and 9 persons in the Probation Directorate (Government Decision No. 44 of 12.01.2007).
After four years of operation, the probation system of the Republic of Moldova is undergoing a reorganization. Thus, by Government Decision No. 827 of September 10, 2010, was set up the Central probation office under the Department of Penitentiary Institutions with a staffing scheme stipulating 216 units in the territorial subdivisions and 34 in the central apparatus.
On January 1, 2013, by Government Decision No. 735 of October 3, 2012 (published in the Official Monitor on 12.10.2012, No. 212-215, art. 798) "on the optimization of the structure, activity of the Ministry of Justice and subordinate administrative authorities", the Central probation office was transferred from the subordination of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions to the subordination of the Ministry of Justice. As a result of this transfer, 7 units were reduced, so that the staff of the Central probation office since that time is 243 units.
On October 12, 2015, by amending and supplementing the Government Decision No. 827 of September 10, 2010 on the organization and functioning of probation bodies, the Central probation office has changed its organizational structure and the functioning way of probation bodies. Thus, the Central probation office is renamed into the National Probation Inspectorate and has three Regional Probation Inspectorates in the North, Centre and South of the country and 42 Probation offices. The regional inspectorates, in turn, will coordinate and monitor the work of the existing Probation offices, the Centres for the social rehabilitation of persons released from criminal punishment and the Educational-Methodological Centres.
On July 18, 2019, by amending and supplementing the Government Decision No. 827/2010 on the organization and functioning of probation bodies, the modification of the staff and employment scheme of the NPI and its territorial subdivisions became effective within the limits of the labour remuneration fund and the structure and staffing limits established by the Government. Thus, the Probation offices in the Chisinau municipality was reorganized and became the Chisinau Probation office (with the status of a general directorate), the Electronic monitoring directorate was set up, which is also a stringent priority of the Government, and the Instructional-Methodical Centre within the NPI. As a result, the number of staff of the NPI and its territorial subdivisions was increased by 51 units, making a total of 234 units, with three Regional Probation Inspectorates North, Centre and South (with service status), one Probation office (with general directorate status), five Probation offices (with directorate status), 19 Probation offices (with section status) and 13 Probation offices (with service status).
At national level, there are currently 38 Probation offices subordinated to the National Probation Inspectorate. The probation staff consists of probation counsellors with civil servant status.