probation a meaningless exercise - By Darren


                                                RECALL WHAT'S THE PROBLEM

I enjoy reading Jim Brown's ( probation officer ) opinions. ( highlighted link above )
I am an ex offender and my partner has been reading your blog and showed me its content on my release three weeks ago. It's great by the way! I would like to share my views on the probation service if I may.
I still attend probation and would rather have my freedom than not turning up to an appointment and being sent back to prison. But what I have witnessed at the probation office I attend is nothing more than a drop-in centre for criminals. One guy went in to see his probation officer last week and was out in less than 5 minutes. How can a probation officer make an honest assessment in that short amount of time? He may well have attended his 2-3 minute appointment, but this does not mean that he isn't a risk to the public. Many ex prisoners are ALREADY re-offending when they walk in to that probation office. They are simply turning up for their appointment because they have to - not because they want to change their life's around. On the other hand, there are some who want to progress and change their life's yet they are not receiving any support from their probation officer because they are either too busy or they are assigned to another probation officer who they do not know from adam. Prisoners often get ear bashings from inside probation officers and other support mechanism's stating that their is only one person who can change their life and that's yourself. I agree. But for some it is simply not as easy as that. I have no doubt at all that their are some excellent probation officers around who aren't doing the job just for the wage. I blame the national offenders management service for making a real pigs ear of a once service that did assist offenders in helping ex prisoners to change their lifestyles and give them direction in their lifes. I find the probation appointments today a meaningless exercise and merely a place where ex prisoners attend in order not to be sent back to prison. Anyone can be good at drawing ticks!

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