Devon and Cornwall Probation Area

To protect the public

An offender on probation will be supervised and supported by a probation officer if given a community sentence, the Parole Board releases them early from jail, or they are automatically released from prison after serving three-quarters of their sentence.

Offenders on probation must comply with the rules and requirements specified by court orders or release licences. If they break the rules they face punishment, including the risk of being sent to prison. Other requirements may include completing community sentences successfully, completing alcohol and drug treatment, staying in a probation hostel, and staying away from the area where a crime was committed.

The National Probation Service (NPS) now comes under the banner of the aforementioned National Offender Management Service (NOMS), part of the Ministry of Justice. In total, there are 35 Probation Trusts in England and Wales, which generally fall in line with police area boundaries. The Service works to provide supervision of offenders, primarily in the community, to ensure safer communities. It also assists in compiling reports for the courts, which aid in sentencing of individuals.

Probation officers can also work in prisons, helping offenders and their families cope with sentences and prepare for release. They also work with non-offenders to provide social work support in such areas as the welfare of children in family proceedings. Probation officers need a genuine interest in working closely with people, and the ability to provide advice and guidance that may change lives. Probation officers may specialise in certain areas such as hostels or community punishment, but the broad range of duties of a probation officer might cover includes: court work; helping with the preparation of reports; interviewing offenders (sometimes in their own homes); dealing with referrals for substance misuse, health and accommodation; work or training difficulties; arranging community work placements for offenders; maintaining effective links with employers and statutory or voluntary organisations; and supervising offenders within a residential hostel environment.

Vacancies for unqualified PSOs are advertised by local employers, the aforementioned Probation Trusts. Selection criteria will focus on your potential to qualify as a PSO within a year of appointment. If you are successfully appointed then you will be provided with training and development opportunities to enable you to assess the risk of harm and reoffending, value diversity, communicate effectively, support changes in behaviour, work with others, develop your own skills, and work in a specialist area. Contact us directly if you wish to know more.

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Please note this website has nothing to do with the old Devon and Cornwall Probation Area service. For more information on the Devon and Cornwall Probation Area service please contact them directly.