Changes By Jim Brown - Probation Officer
I would like to reply please to the post by, Jim Brown, probation officer. ( Above link )
My partner has been out of prison for 12 months. He is still on licence. He is battling everyday trying to find himself a job. Obviously he has a probation officer, who both my partner and I get on with. But that's all we do, we get on with her. He attends all his appointments and abides by his licence. I honestly wish I could give his probation officer a better report, but I can't. He attends his 'tick box' appointments and that's about it. As long as he turns up, he's safe from recall. The problem I have, as is partner, is that whilst I'm at work, someone should be at least assisting him in trying to find a job or find him something to do during the day. His probation officer was the first person to say, " make sure you keep busy when you are released from prison." It's as though he has been left to his own devices. Yet the Government place him on licence because they feel he needs to be monitored. I'm presuming that's why, because why else make him attend these 5 minute appointments? As Jim Brown says, I accept that probation are bogged down with paperwork. My brother was in prison in 1989 and the changes within probation are massive in my opinion. My brother's probation officer practically switched his life around. He went in to prison once, and stayed out. That's the top and bottom of it. Having read some of, Jim Brown's, posts, it is clear that he too feels like he is banging his head against a brick wall. Some probation officers enter that line of work because they want to make a difference to someones life. Some still do, so lets not take that away from someone in that line of work. It would be unfair to say any different. But wouldn't you think that the Government would listen to ex offenders and their families? Prisoners families in my view should have input. Their voices should be heard, because it's all fine and well to appoint a probation officer, but it is we who live with the ex offender. Tick box exercises are not protecting the public. The problem now with probation changes is this. More and more offenders and ex offenders aren't taking a blind bit of notice. They lost faith in the probation service years ago. Sadly, probation is merely now, an office that ex offenders and offenders clock in and clock out of. I feel for individuals such as, Jim Brown, who quite clearly takes his work seriously and wants to make a difference. Finally, I would like to say that your blog is fantastic. Thanks for providing a place for families of offenders to share their views and opinions.