Probation are Nuts! - From Michael P, former prisoner

Hello There Miss Prison Widow UK!

I remember you from Inside Time by the way! Thanks for the laughs when I was banged up.
I'm just emailing in to voice my opinion on the Probation Reform post. I remember being assigned to a probation officer who was alright. He was OK as a person and was just doing his job.
One time I was sent to some group to help with resettlement and we went out on a countryside hike. At the time I was 38 years old and the majority of the group were in their 30's. There were a few young lads, but not many.
The outing was bizarre to say the least. It was like a pre-school day outing. OK, I get that many offenders need to go back to basics, but I had been in prison, not a coma! One of the probation officers pointed to a furry little animal running through the woods and asked me what it was. It was a squirrel and no disrespect, before I went in to prison, I had believe it or not, shock horror, seen squirrels LOL!
I am aware through the news and social media that the prison's, or should I say, some prisons are going through reform as in not to call cells, cells, and to address prisoners as residents etc, but trust me, probation need to get a grip too and start treating people like adults and not children.

Money is tight for activities etc, but the best one yet was when I was asked to play a kids version of Pictionary in a probation hostel! I drew the line at that and was waiting for the farmyard snap playing cards to resurface.
Come on though, I know money is tight but what are these people playing at?
Another bug bear of mine was that I was once recalled to prison because I was late three times for a 5 minute appointment. Someone mentioned public transport being unreliable or there are traffic jams, or there's roadworks or maybe an accident that holds up traffic, or it is just that public transport is running late for one reason or another. I too was claiming benefits at that time and had no credit to phone probation to let them know I was going to be late but I always turned up. My probation officer told me to set off earlier, what for? A 5 minute chat asking if I am OK? I will tell you though, when I did make it to my appointments on time, my probation officer wasn't on time because sometimes I had to wait 30 minutes over my scheduled appointment time. What a travesty LOL!
Edit as you feel fit.

All the best

Michael P