Tuesday, 24 November 2015
How Does Probation Work?
The ins and outs of probation
This might involve helping you overcome any problems you may have in your life, helping you to adhere to the rules set out in your sentence ant to generally keep out of trouble. It might also mean helping you enrol on a training course and seeing it through to completion, find treatment for addiction and addressing behavioural problems.
Three reasons for probation
You can be put onto probation for one of three reasons. The first might be because it is part of a community sentence, which serves as an alternative to a term in prison (community sentences involve spending a period of time serving the community). The second might be because you have been released from prison "on licence", which is relevant if your prison sentence was for longer than a year. The third applies if you have been released from prison early, as all ex-offenders on parole are effectively on probation.
Breaking the rules
Should you break the rules of your probation, perhaps by not attending meetings with your offender manager or by committing another crime, there are two likely outcomes. Depending on the nature of your infraction, you will either receive a warning or be taken back to court. If you do not stick to the rules of your probation order, your offender manager will inform the court which may lead to a number of different outcomes depending on the type of probation you are on and what you have done wrong.
The Probation Service
If you have been on probation, the Probation Service holds and shares the personal information it has about you with certain other organisations (such as the Parole Board if you left prison on probation and other probation trusts should you move to a new area), as well as with some victims of serious crime (if they ask the Probation Service to keep them updated). Health and social services organisations might also be given access to personal information about you if required.
For those who committed a crime of a violent or sexual nature, they could be placed under a Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA). This means that a number of organisations will participate in your supervision (including the police, probation and prison services) to manage your transition back into the community. People released under a MAPPA scheme may have their personal information shared across a number of different organisations, primarily those dealing with people in vulnerable positions such as children and the elderly or infirm.
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