The Probation Service and prison work together to ensure that prisoners receive advice and guidance to successfully reintegrate into society when they are released. They also protect the public from further harm by offenders sentenced to custodial terms.
A probation officer is assigned to all adult prisoners sentenced to six months or more in prison. The probation officer will maintain contact with the prisoner and any relatives or spouse.
The role of a prison-based probation officer
The role of a prison-based probation officer is to:
- deliver appropriate offending behaviour and skills based programmes to those prisoners assessed as requiring them by the sentence planning process
- represent the probation service on temporary release panels
- act as duty probation officer for prison related matters
- act as the victim liaison point for the probation and prison services
The work performed will be based upon the prisoner's needs identified before and during the sentence. The prisoner has access to all probation service resources and facilities, such as group work programmes, mentors and basic skills tutors.
The prison-based probation officer will contribute reports to prison sentence planning and temporary release panels and, if required, will attend these meetings. The prison-based probation officer will involve prison staff in the probation work plan. Sentence planning and the probation work plan are complemented with the work of the two services.
The role of the prison
The role of the prison is to:
- create a safe environment for prisoners and deal with the administration of their sentences
- provide the probation service with any relevant information or intelligence concerning the prisoner's circumstances, attitude or behaviour
- consider granting temporary release to prisoners who could benefit from the Probation Service programmes in the community. This is subject to satisfactory risk assessment