I read Prison Widow's post ( below ) on probation hostels and I know exactly where she is coming from. I too know someone who walked out of a probation hostel because of its poor management.
I engaged with his probation officer who was useless. I know there are decent probation officers around, but there are also those who in my opinion have no intentions of trying to help an ex offender. My pal had one of those who was quite obviously obsessed with prison recall. Needless to say, my friend ended up back in prison because his probation officer wasn't worth the damn hassle of dealing with. He was released and is now doing well in a full time job, no thanks to the Offender Management Service who couldn't manage a running a dolls house!