25 October 2011
One of Jersey’s Assistant Probation Officers will take up a work placement in Madeira in January 2012, helping to forge new links between the jurisdictions.
Maurilia Veloso will complete a 3-month placement with the Madeiran Probation Service as one of the elements of the social work degree that she is completing through the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
“I am really excited about the placement and the chance it will provide to explore the similarities and the differences in the work that we do and the procedures which are in place. Just the experience of going to work in a different jurisdiction is an exciting move,” she said.
Maurilia was given a brief overview of the Madeiran service by their Chief Officer, Dr Samuel Freitas, on a visit earlier in the year and the main difference was that minor offences were dealt with by the preparation of background reports by probation officers and would go before a panel, rather than the court. “It appears to be quite similar to the system that we have here with Parish Hall Enquiries. However, officers in Jersey only routinely attend Parish Hall Enquiries in respect of children,” said Ms Veloso.
Ms Veloso is bilingual and answers the queries of many of the Jersey service’s Portuguese speaking clients. “I am looking forward to getting into the fundamentals of life in Madeira. My family’s heritage is there but I am Jersey-born and so count myself as a tourist there,” she said. “Doing the placement in Madeira has the added advantage of building links between our 2 offices because there is understanding and information we can share that would be an asset to both.”
Chief Probation Officer Brian Heath said that because of Jersey’s size, it was important for officers to gain knowledge and experience in other jurisdictions.
“This is the first time that we have had a cross-jurisdictional placement outside the British Isles and it offers us the chance to learn about other services and techniques. Sharing best practice is extremely important and building relations with Madeira would be useful for both their service and ours,”