It's All About Team Work - By Elise

Probation: A Tarnished Brand?

Hello everyone! I would very much like to comment on the post, probation: a tarnished brand, if that's OK. ( Above highlighted link )
I think one of the main gripes with prisoners families is that many probation officers refuse to communicate with them. I have left many messages for my other half's probation officer, and he just doesn't get back to me. Probation have to understand that prisoners rely on their loved ones to ring probation because they cannot afford to ring them from prison due to the cost of telephone calls. On the other hand, I also understand about data protection too. But if prisoners probation officers actually made a bit of effort to get to know their partners/ wifes etc, then communication between all 3 parties would work. My other half has been in prison twice. His first probation officer was excellent. She was helpful, courteous and if I had any concerns, she welcomed my phone calls. We worked together as a team because at the end of the day, probation may well be the offender managers, but partners of prisoners etc are the directors because the offender lives under our roof's. Probations main role is to protect the public. But as a prisoners partner, it was also my role to protect the public too because the last thing I wanted was for him to commit another crime. I was actually on probations side and still am. His second probation officer was a bloody nightmare. She needed a personality transplant! She was quite abrupt and of course being that way made my partner be abrupt back so they banged heads and just didn't click at all. What I will say is this. I have sat in the waiting room of a probation office with my partner on many occasions and if prisoners families are honest with me, they will know that there are some idiots and time wasters that often pass through probations doors. Many turn up because have to. Yet there are some, like my partner, who genuinely wanted their support. I've witnessed ex offenders swearing at the receptionist, so lets get real here! There are some ex offenders that have no intentions of going straight, no matter how much people try and help. That however doesn't give a probation officer the rights to tie everyone with the same brush, and I think that's what happened with my partners 2nd probation officer to be very honest. Prisoners families who want to support their loved ones, should in my view be able to communicate with a probation officer. For me, it's about team work.