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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Resources for people on Probation

Accommodation for people on Probation

States Housing is only available for those who have local housing qualifications. They prioritise so that people who have the greatest need are housed first. If you meet their eligibility criteria then you can apply.

The Shelter Trust have 3 sites in Jersey, offering emergency accommodation and longer term support and help to homeless people.

The Salvation Army may be able to provide you with a few basic essentials to set you up in your home, from cleaning items to a food parcel. Please discuss this with your Probation Officer, who will refer you to the Salvation Army if they feel you meet the criteria.

Alcohol and Drugs support for people on Probation

The Alcohol and Drugs service is run by the States of Jersey and offers help and advice to anyone who has a drink or drug problem. You may have been ordered to have contact with them as part of your sentence, if this is the case then you must comply with their instructions or you face being returned to court. An employee of the Alcohol and Drugs service is based in the Probation office 3 days per week. If you would like to meet with him, please speak to your Probation Officer.

The service also offers a Needle Exchange Scheme.

Alcoholics Anonymous offer free, confidential group and one to one support for anyone with an alcohol addiction.  They operate using a 12 Step programme which is designed to help you to live your life without alcohol. Locally they can be contacted on +44 (0) 1534 726681.

Narcotics Anonymous are there for anyone who has a problem with drugs. Membership is open to anyone with a drug problem seeking help, regardless of what drug or combination of drugs have been used, and irrespective of age, sex, religion, race, creed or class. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using drugs. Groups are run locally on several days of the week and in several places around the Island.

Silkworth Lodge offer residential rehabilitation for men and women who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Anyone who believes they may have a dependency to alcohol or drugs can ask for a free consultation with a counsellor by contacting Silkworth Lodge. This free consultation will be provided within 72 hours and confidentiality is assured. Your Probation Officer can discuss this with you too.

Al-Anon offer support to family and friends of people who suffer with an alcohol addiction. Similarly to AA, they offer a 12 step programme through local group meetings.

This guide will help you understand the effects of drugs and their use. It is based on the latest best practice and contains practical advice about what you can actually do as a parent, whether your children are using drugs or not. 

Young people's drug use, advice for parents

Court and legal system support for people on Probation

The Court System

The Youth Court, based in the Magistrate's Court building, sits each Tuesday morning. Offenders aged 17 and under appear there. It is a closed court, meaning members of the public are not allowed into the court while it is in session. It is less formal than the Magistrate's and Royal Courts - the Magistrate and advocates do not wear robes. A panel, made up of a Magistrate and two other members who are appointed by the Royal Court (one of whom must be a woman) decide on sentence. Like Magistrate's Court, trials can be heard here and more serious offenders can be remanded to Royal Court. The Youth Court has similar sentencing powers to the Magistrate's court.

Magistrate's Court

The Magistrate's Court in Jersey is where most offenders are dealt with. They can impose a prison sentence of up to 12 months and, for more serious offenders, have the power to remand them to Royal Court for a heavier sentence. A Magistrate, Assistant Magistrate or Relief Magistrate decide on sentence. This court sits every weekday, beginning at 10am each morning. Trials can be heard here too and the court is open to members of the public, who are allowed to sit in the public gallery to watch proceedings.

Royal Court

The Royal Court is Jersey's highest court. It sits each Friday, when the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff, plus two Jurats, preside over the cases.  There are two sentencing tiers at the Royal Court, inferior number and superior number. Inferior number sentencing occurs on a Friday, a Judge and two Jurats decide sentence. They can sentence to a maximum of 2 years in prison. Superior number sentencing happens when an offender is facing more than 4 years in prison. A Judge and at least 5 Jurats will preside to decide on sentence. Trials for more serious cases are heard in the Royal Court too.

Legal

If you are on bail it is important that you keep to the conditions of your bail. These can be wide ranging, from not approaching victims/witnesses, to residing at a certain address approved by the court. If you wish to apply for your bail to be changed, you must speak to your advocate. If you have been ordered to surrender your licence or any other documents, once you have finished your bail you can get these back from the Viscounts department.

Legal Aid is available for those who may not be able to afford to pay for an advocate to represent them. To apply, you must fill in a Legal Aid application form and send it to the Acting Battonnier (address on the form). They will consider your application and will decide whether you can be appointed an advocate under the guidelines of the scheme. They will also determine how much, if any, you should pay towards that advocate representing you. They form is quite lengthy and does ask for financial information.

If you have to appear in court, you have the right to have an advocate represent you. You can apply to legal aid if you cannot afford to pay for an advocate and they will appoint one for you. Otherwise, a list of law firms in Jersey on the Jersey Law website

Renewal of your driving licences, if you have been disqualified from driving without a requirement to retake your driving test, once your disqualification period is up you can apply to The Driver and Vehicle Standards Department, La Collette, St Helier, to have it returned.  However, if you have been disqualified and ordered to retake your driving test at the end of the disqualification period you must apply to the Parish Hall for a Provisional Licence. You must then successfully complete both the theory and practical tests before you can obtain a full licence again.

Legal aid application form

Employment support for people on Probation

Employment

There're several schemes in Jersey to help people find work, especially if you have been out of work for a while.

Finding a job: Back to Work

Jersey employment Trust (JET)

The Jersey Employment Trust provides a range of employment support services, education courses, work tasters and work experience placements. They help people find suitable employment opportunities, negotiating on their behalf with employers and can also provide on the job training and support. JET work with anyone who has a disability; this includes people who are on the autistic spectrum, have a sensory impairment, learning difficulty, physical impairment, people with long term medical conditions such as cancer or HIV and Aids, mental health issues, brain injury or neurological impairment.

Disclosing Convictions

When applying for a job, you will need to disclose any previous convictions, unless they are considered spent. Whether or not a conviction is considered spent depends on your age at conviction, the type of offence and the length of sentence. The Citizen's Advice Bureau have put together a table which will help you to work out if your conviction is spent.

If you have been sentenced to prison for more than 2 ½ years that conviction will never be considered spent.

Parish Hall enquiry cautions must be declared if you are asked if you have been in trouble with the police, however you don't have to declare them if you are just asked to declare your previous convictions. Speak to your Probation Officer if you are unsure about this.

For some jobs however, convictions are never considered spent – this includes jobs where you will be working with children or vulnerable adults, jobs which are in the police and courts and jobs high up in the finance industry. It should state on your application form that the job is exempt form the Rehabilitation of Offenders Law. Your Probation Officer can guide you on this. 

When to tell a potential employer about your past

If an employer wants to know about criminal records, they will probably ask you in the application form. It is best to be truthful. If there's space in the box you could disclose your convictions there, but it will probably be better to put 'see enclosed' and attach a separate sheet. List your convictions, how they came about and how you feel about them.  If the application form doesn't ask about your record, you could leave it to the interview stage.  Some employers may ask you about your record when they are ready to make you a job offer, so be prepared for this.

How to persuade employers to look beyond your criminal record

Many employers will still consider you if they think your conviction(s) aren't relevant to the job you've applied for, although it can be hard to convince employers you're not a risk and are going to be a reliable, trustworthy employee. Many employers reject applicants who have committed serious crimes, have no skills or have had long periods of unemployment.

For this reason, many ex-offenders do something else on release, such as a training course, voluntary work or start up their own business. Training courses and voluntary work can build your confidence and give you something positive to talk about to employers. They also take the pressure off finding work and increase your chances of being offered work by word-of-mouth.

Don't send out lots of rushed applications - apply for fewer jobs but spend longer on them. Follow the instructions on the application form, show how you meet the person specification and make it neat and tidy. And only apply for the jobs you're likely to get – don't waste time on jobs you haven't got the right skills and experience for. Once you get your first job, if you're a good employee you'll find it easier to get your next job. 

Present your past in a positive light

You need to convince employers that your crimes are in your past, you've moved on and are no longer a risk to anybody. You can say you regret the offence, do not intend to re-offend and now want to work hard. A change in your circumstances is a particularly good way to show you've moved on, so mention it if you've settled into family life or have other responsibilities that would mean you would have too much to lose to re-offend.

If any of these factors apply to you and your conviction(s), explaining them to employers may make them see you in a more positive light:

  • your criminal record is very old
  • you offended when very young and now have responsibilities such as a wife/husband, a family, a house, a job
  • the crime is not relevant to the job you're applying for
  • you pleaded guilty to the crime
  • you committed the crime because you were going through a bad time, such as financial problems, but these are now sorted out
  • the crime sounds more serious than it is
  • if the circumstances in which the crime was committed makes it less serious

Make sure these don't sound like excuses. If you're honest and own up to things that were your fault it will show you've accepted responsibility for your actions.

Don't try to hide or gloss over your record, but try not to write or talk too much about it. Stress that you are applying for the job because you think you'll be good at it, and make this the focus of your application or interview.

If you have more than one conviction, you could try to group them together rather than listing them all. For instance, if you've had more than one conviction for theft, you could say 'I have convictions for theft, but the most recent of these is now spent'.

Talk to your Probation Officer if you would like assistance with bringing up convictions with a potential employer.

The police vetting unit may also be able to help you can contact them on +44 (0) 1534 612555.

Health and doctors appointments for people on Probation

Physical Health

Your GP will be the first point of call for many ailments, both physical and mental. They can offer medication and emotional support and can refer you to other services, e.g. the Pain Clinic or the Hospital, if they think it is necessary.

list of Doctors working in Jersey on the Citizens Advice website

If you have been resident in Jersey for more than 6 months you should go to Social Security to get your Health Card. This entitles you to reduced Doctors fees and free prescriptions.

Help 2 Quit Smoking is a free and confidential service offering help to stop smoking. Smoking is an expensive and unhealthy habit, but it can be difficult to stop without support. 

Brook offer free and confidential information and support on relationships, sex, contraception, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. They offer this service to young people up to the age of 21.

The GUM Clinic is a walk-in service, based in the General Hospital. You can be tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections, HIV and hepatitis.

Mental wellbeing

Your GP can offer support and advice on looking after your mental health. They can offer medication to help, or they can refer you to a service specialised in helping people who suffer from depression, anxiety and many other mental health problems, for example the Psychology department. 

list of Doctors working in Jersey on the Citizens Advice website

The Psychology service is run by the States of Jersey. It is accessed via a referral from your GP or from certain other agencies.  They offer therapies based on talking and listening and also run self-help courses to help you to help yourself.

The Adult Mental Health service is accessed by referral from your GP. Run by the States of Jersey, they offer services for clients aged 16 to 65 who present with a mental health problem.

Mind Jersey offer help and support to anyone experiencing and form of mental distress, from stress to Schizophrenia. They work with individuals, organisations and professionals, offering a wide range of services.

The Samaritans offer free, confidential support 24 hours a day via a number of methods, including face to face, on the phone and via email. They aim to benefit society by improving people's emotional health in order to create a greater sense of well-being.

TOP Jersey offers help to anyone who has a severe phobia, or who suffer with OCD. They run a self-help group on Thursday evenings to help you to overcome your fears and anxieties. To contact the Jersey branch, phone +44 (0) 1534 608008.

Managing your finances for people on Probation

Benefits

Income Support is an income-related benefit which provides financial support. There are strict criteria that you much meet before you are eligible for Income Support.  If you are a jobseeker, you will be expected to meet with Work Zone on a regular basis to prove that you are seeking work. Ask your Probation Officer if you need help with your Income Support forms. 

Special Payments are available from Social Security to help with one-off costs, for example medical bills or an essential household item. Usually they are available to those on Income Support, however some others may be eligible.

Incapacity benefit is available to people who cannot work due to illness or disability. There are two types: short term, for people out of work for up to 364 days and long term, for people with a longer term illness or disability. Once you have been on short term for the maximum length of 364 days, you will be sent a form for which you can apply for long term. Short term incapacity benefit is based on you Social Security payments made in the previous year.

Managing your finances

To help manage the day to day running of your money, the Citizens Advice Bureau have created a Budget Planner. Alternatively, you can ask your Probation Officer for help in making a budget.

Debt Pack from the Citizens Advice Bureau can help you to get your finances in order and can help you to get out of debt. 

The Probation Service has access to a Volunteer Financial advisor. Should your Probation Officer feel it would help you, they can arrange for you to meet with them.

Free and confidential help is also available from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

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