Probation officers work to rehabilitate offenders. They supervise, counsel and help them before trial, during any prison or community sentence and on release from prison.
- Produces pre-sentence reports to the court about an individual’s crime, their personal circumstances, the suitability of sentencing, the likelihood of re-offending and the future risk to the public
- Enforces court orders and serves the public by providing a wide range of supervision programmes for those in receipt of a community sentence
- Draws up probation plans with offenders and helps them follow it, advises them on any work and helps them with any family or social problems
- Works with prisoners in giving advice on problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, addressing training needs, finding work and getting accommodation
- Keeps accurate and comprehensive records.
Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications or with relevant experience. In England and Wales all candidates must complete a two-year Diploma in Probation studies. There is a minimum age limit of 20 years to undertake training. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, entry requirements are the same as for social workers. Background checks including a CRB check are required.