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Probation Service internationally recognised

17 October 2013

The effectiveness, efficiency and innovation of Jersey’s Probation and After-Care Service (JPACS) has been recognised with an invitation.

The Chief Probation Officer, Brian Heath, has been invited to join the board of the Global Centre for Evidence-based Corrections and Sentencing (GCECS). Established by Griffith University in Brisbane, the centre aims to provide a new global forum where knowledge on evidence-based corrections and sentencing strategies can be exchanged.

Mr Heath, who attended the centre’s consortium meeting, says JPACS' inclusion is further recognition of the contribution it is making to criminal justice research and practice. 

“JPACS has worked hard to develop services which are effective and which fit our unique circumstances,” he said. “We have used evidence from around the world to inform our decision making and it is important that we now pass on our experiences to help others and to contribute to the growing body of evidence about effective probation services."

Mr Heath has also been assisting the UK Ministry of Justice and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a programme of briefings designed to help the governors of the British Overseas Territories with their criminal justice responsibilities, and he provides briefings on community justice for new governors. 

Mr Heath also attends governors’ meetings in London, where he has led discussions on effective community-based penalties and developing community safety strategies. He has been involved in peer reviewing a strategy paper in one of the jurisdictions concerned and he briefed the most recent new governor-designate last month.

“It has been particularly pleasing to help other small jurisdictions as although every Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency is unique, we do have some similar challenges and opportunities due to our scale,” he said.

The Chairman of Jersey’s Probation and Aftercare Service Board, Jurat Jill Clapham, said “Jersey certainly has a probation service of which it can be justly proud.  It is a great tribute to the chief officer and his dynamic team that their work is recognised internationally in the way it is.”
Despite being one of the smaller probation services, JPACS is at the forefront of effective probation practice and is regularly invited to present at conferences and to feature its work in academic journals and books. Jersey will again be featured in books being published this month.
'What Works in Offender Compliance', which is published this month, contains a chapter outlining Jersey Probation’s approach to ensuring that Islanders complete their Community Service Orders successfully. This approach is seen as being constructive and effective by the author. 
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