The criminal justice system has to put a large emphasis on rehabilitation if it’s going to be successful. Rehabilitation is helping to ensure that something such as prison isn’t merely punishing an individual, but instead helping them toward becoming a law abiding citizen, and staying that way, once they are released from prison. Probation officer jobs are a key part of this process. In this article, we will have a look at what exactly is entailed within the role of a probation officer. Specifically looking at how this role is one that has a lot of contact with offenders, both before, during, and after their sentence is served. Hopefully leading to positive reforming of character.
In terms of your responsibilities as a probation officer, you will be managing offenders at different stages of their process through the criminal justice system. This could include providing pre-sentence reports for courts. These will be used to help determine the length/details of a sentence. Sentencing doesn’t necessarily always mean going to prison. Often courts will give an offender community orders, it is a probation officer to enforce these court community orders are served. You will also be working with prisoners both in custody and prison, usually this is when the rehabilitation process begins, not once they’re actually released.
Before a prisoner is released however, a probation officer will often be asked to create a risk assessment and review of a prisoner. This is to help protect the public from possible reoffending. As well as working out what different services need to be involved within the probation process post-release.
A large part of the role is to motivate offenders to change their ways. Each case will be different, thus the way to bring about this motivation will also be different. You should be prepared that this process won’t always be successful, reoffending is common. When this occurs it is important to examine the situation, ask yourself if there is anything you should have done differently, etc. Most of the time, hopefully it is the case that you couldn’t have done anything different, it’s a simple case of you can’t win them all. Yet, always go through this process, so if mistakes are made, you can make sure they won’t happen again. Even though each case is different, key similarities can be distinguished from past cases, thus improving the quality of probation work provided.