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Probation Service

Contact Us - Guernsey Probation Service

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  • Probation Service

    • Probation Officers prepare reports in criminal cases, advising the courts on offending behaviour, public protection and risk management. They also prepare reports for the Parole Review Committee advising on release plans for those eligible for parole.
    • The Guernsey Probation Service manages offenders subject to supervision in the community in order to reduce the risk of further offending behaviour.
    • The Service also manages and implements the Offender Management Strategy within the Guernsey Prison, and the Community Service Scheme, which provides for the courts to impose unpaid work in the community as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
    • Probation Officers supervise offenders on release from custody, including serious violent and sex offenders under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements.
    • The priorities of the Probation Service are:
      • Protection the public
      • Reduce re-offending
      • Ensure offenders' awareness of the effects of crime on victims of crime and the public
      • Rehabilitation of offenders
    • The Probation Service aims to do this by:
      • Providing the courts with quality information and assessment on offenders to assist in sentencing decisions
      • Supervising offenders in order to reduce crime and so protect the public
      • Preparing prisoners for release and resettlement in the community.
  • Offender Programmes and Treatment Orders

    • The role of the Probation Officer is to work with the offender in order to reduce re offending, thus preventing future victims. Evidence indicates that the relationship between an offender and their Probation Officer is an important factor in successful rehabilitation. The Probation Officer who does the initial assessment of the offender in the Court Report will generally continue to supervise the offender throughout any sentence, either in the community or in prison.
    • The Probation Officer will assess the offender and oversee a plan to make sure they receive the interventions that will have the greatest impact on changing their behaviour and improving public safety. The offender's motivation to change is critical and Probation Officers employ a great deal of motivational work with offenders. There is now good evidence about the interventions which can give offenders the best chance of changing their lives. All the programmes we use are designed to make offenders confront and acknowledge the damage their behaviour does, and then learn how to change the patterns which have often grown up over many years to become problematic. The programmes are delivered either one to one or in a group depending on demand at any one time.
    • We work in partnership with Drug Concern and GADAC who provide Criminal Justice Drug and Alcohol workers to work alongside the supervising Probation Officers on tackling substance misuse issues. These two workers, and the Restorative Justice Co-ordinator, are based at the Probation office and are very much members of the team. The Community Service Team also operates from the Probation office to ensure integrated management of offenders and sentences.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Programmes for Offenders

    • Research indicates that the most effective and time efficient programmes for changing behaviour are based on CBT approaches
    • Underlying Assumptions
      • Foundations for criminal activity are dysfunctional patterns of thinking
      • Offender treatment programmes target the thoughts, choices, attitudes and meaning systems associated with antisocial behaviour
      • Structured techniques are used to build cognitive skills and restructure any distorted ways of thinking
      • CBT therapist acts as a coach or teacher
    • Problem Solving
      • It is reasonable to expect that individuals who are not good at problem solving will opt for illegitimate means of reaching their goals. This is because they may repeatedly experience failure in their legitimate attempts to obtain what they want and become easily frustrated and aggressive. (Ross & Fabiano 1985)
      • Programme concentrates on the process of problem solving instead of getting the right answer: "We should be teaching students how to think; instead we are primarily teaching them what to think." (Lockhead, 1979)
    • CBT Programmes can involve:
      • Group exercises
      • Role play
      • Rehearsal
      • Intensive feedback
      • Homework assignments
      • Diaries
      • Worksheets
      • Further Info
    • The Home Office website has some useful information regarding the "What Works" initiative together with details of programmes for offenders. The initiative aims to ensure that probation work is evidence based, consistent and effective. Further information can be found in the 'what works initiative' section at
  • Victim Awareness

    • Victim awareness can be taught as a stand-alone programme on a one to one basis. All the programmes undertaken by the Probation Service have a victim awareness element to them.
    • Victim awareness can be taught as a stand-alone programme on a one to one basis.
    • All the programmes undertaken by the Probation Service have a victim awareness element to them.
    • In all cases where there is a clear and identified victim the possibility of either direct or indirect restorative approaches will be considered. The full and informed agreement of the victim will be ensured prior to any restorative process being initiated.
    • Programme Content:
    • Victim Awareness Definitions
      • Aims to help offenders understand that victims are created as a result of other people's actions
      • There is more than one victim - direct and indirect victims
    • Exercises on the 'Ripple Effect'
      • Aids recognition that when the offender does something it impacts a wide variety of people, not just those directly affected, or their families, but many people they do not even see
      • Crime scenarios are discussed highlighting the impact of all crimes extending well beyond the immediate victim
      • Ripple effect is applied to the client's own offences
    • Victim Impact
      • To develop insight into how victims are affected by crimes perpetrated against them
      • Analysis is undertaken of how victims feel, think and behave in the short and long term
    • Role Reversal
      • Taking the victim's place to further develop empathy
    • 'My Victim' Exercises
      • Helping offenders understand that they actually do plan who they will victimise, even if it is in a broad way
      • Letter
      • Writing a letter (not for sending) to their victim so that the offenders express remorse and empathy for the person that they have victimised.
  • Community Service

    • The Probation Service administers the Community Service Scheme. Community Service is the name given to a sentence which can be imposed by all the Bailiwick's Courts which allows an offender the opportunity to do unpaid work, normally as an alternative to a custodial sentence.
    • The Community Service Scheme was introduced in the Bailiwick in 2007 but is an important and well-established community-based sentence which has been used in the United Kingdom since 1977 and Jersey since 1982.
    • Placement beneficiaries must either be charitable or other non-profit-making organisations.
    • Community Service is performed by offenders, either working on an individual basis and reporting directly to a beneficiary, or as part as a supervised work party group supervised by Probation Service supervisors.
    • Orders made by the Alderney and Sark Courts are performed in those Islands.
  • Criminal Justice Alcohol Service (CJAS)

    • The Criminal Justice Alcohol Service (CJAS) is a partnership between the Probation Service and the Guernsey Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, which is funded by the Bailiwick of Guernsey Drug and Alcohol Strategy.
    • CJAS is targeted at those who are considered to have a disproportionately disruptive effect on the community.
    • An offender may engage in work with CJAS as part of any of the following:
      • A Probation Order;
      • A Youth Detention Supervision Order;
      • An Adult Custody Supervision Order;
      • Parole;
      • Extended licence;
      • Suspended Sentence Supervision Order.
    • How does the process work?
    • Referrals
      • A referral to the CJAS is only made where the Court/Probation Officer is satisfied that the client is dependent on, or has the propensity to misuse, alcohol and that the individual is susceptible to treatment;
      • The current offence needs to have a significant victim;
      • The referral can also be made by the Prison Governor or the Parole Review Committee.
    • Assessments
      • These are conducted by the Criminal Justice Alcohol Worker, who also discusses the client's suitability with the referring Probation Officer;
      • The client must agree to include CJAS as part of their supervision. Their motivation is fundamental to the success of the treatment and must be carefully assessed.
      • It can be Court Mandated Treatment
      • Any of the above orders can include a condition stating that the defendant, "Shall attend the Criminal Justice Alcohol Service as directed, and comply with alcohol testing and treatment as required."
    • The Programme
      • Clients are given a CJAS workbook containing information about alcohol and worksheets about their thoughts/feelings/alcohol use;
      • Elements of the client's drinking that are problematic are identified;
      • An active recovery plan is devised laying out the client's commitment to contact with support groups, therapeutic activities, the identified life problems that require attention and personal characteristics and thinking styles that the client needs to work on daily.
    • Non-Compliance/Breaching the Order
      • A breach occurs when a client has missed appointments, failed breath tests or refused to provide breath tests (clients are tested at each visit);
      • A procedure for missed appointment letters, warnings and formal warnings operates after which the client is breached and taken back to Court;
      • The order can be revoked and the offender re-sentenced for the original offence. This can result in a fine, prison or youth detention sentence.
    • Completion of the Order
      • If a client wishes to continue working with an alcohol worker or is deemed unsuitable for the CJAS they can be referred to the Guernsey Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (GADAC) as a voluntary client.
  • Criminal Justice Drug Service (CJDS)

    • The Criminal Justice Drug Service (CJDS) is a partnership between the Probation Service and Drug Concern, which is funded by the Bailiwick of Guernsey Drug and Alcohol Strategy.
    • A referral to the CJDS is only made where the Court and/or the Probation Officer is satisfied that the offender is dependent on, or has the propensity to misuse, drugs and that the individual is susceptible to treatment.
    • CJDS is targeted at those who are considered to have a disproportionately disruptive effect on the community. Drug treatment conditions are not appropriate as a response to relatively trivial offences and focus on risk (of harm to others) and need. A link must be made between offending and drug use.
    • How does the process work?
    • Assessments
      • Assessments are conducted by the Criminal Justice Drug Worker who discusses the offender's suitability with the referring Probation Officer;
      • The offender is given the choice of whether they would like to be involved with CJDS as part of their court order or post-custodial supervision. Their motivation is fundamental to the success of the treatment and must be carefully assessed. Even though a treatment condition can be imposed, usually people agree.
    • It is Court Mandated Treatment
      • The court order or post-custodial supervision includes a condition stating that the offender, "Shall attend the Criminal Justice Drug Service as directed, and comply with drug testing and treatment as required."
    • The Programme
      • During the life of the order, offenders are subject to testing via oral swabs up to 3 times a week for a range of illegal substances;
      • The offender is offered techniques to help them to change their lifestyles in order to move on from drug use;
      • If dependent, the offender can be referred on to the Community Drug and Alcohol Team. Such cases are jointly worked.
    • Non-Compliance/Breaching the Order
      • A breach occurs when an offender misses an appointment, fails a test or refuses to provide a test;
      • A procedure for missed appointments includes letters, warnings and formal warnings, dependent on the risk that person presents, before an offender is breached and taken to Court or recalled to prison.
    • End of the Order
      • If an offender wishes to continue working with a drug worker after the order ends or is terminated they can be referred to Drug Concern as a voluntary client.
  • Restorative Approaches in relation to Court Reports and Outcomes

    • The Probation team have given a great deal of thought to how and when we should report on Restorative Justice processes undertaken with offenders in the course of supervision or imprisonment, and have prepared a protocol for guidance in all cases where there is statutory involvement.
    • The protocol takes into account the following principles:-
    • The ethos of restorative justice approaches is that they are for the benefit of the victim and any consequences to the offender in terms of improvements in behaviour or attitude are a welcome by-product but must remain secondary to the needs of the victim
    • It is inappropriate that an offender should gain any benefit from taking part in a process which should be part of a moral duty and not laid down in law
    • As there is no compulsion on the victim to take part in restorative approaches there can be no guarantee how Restorative Justice can be used in any case we are dealing with
    • Therefore in regard to Social Enquiry Reports there will be no specific mention of plans to undertake Restorative Justice with an offender. All cases will be considered individually and the Probation protocol followed which says that in all cases where there is a clear and identified victim the possibility of either direct or indirect restorative approaches will be considered by the Probation Service. The full and informed agreement of the victim will be ensured prior to any restorative process being initiated.
    • The protocol was introduced on 1st July 2010. We have been using Restorative Justice approaches for some years and individual officers have been doing complex and innovative work with serious cases for some time. Although not new, Restorative Justice will be considered for use in every case.
  • Offending Is Not the Only Choice

    • This is a general offending behaviour programme which has similar themes to the 'Choices and Challenges' course which is delivered in the prison.
    • Programme Focus:
      • Programme is designed to focus on altering criminal patterns exhibited by repeat offenders
      • Sections: criminal thinking and how to counter it, morality and victim awareness, problem solving and consequential thinking
      • Teaches skills and links learning to real life situations clients will face
      • Uses a cognitive behavioural approach
      • Consists of 23 sessions
    • Course Uses the Task Centred Approach
      • Designed to help people with problems of living such as interpersonal conflict, problems with formal organisations, reactive emotional distress
      • In order to reduce further offending the problems addressed will be those which focus on the reasons for the offence behaviour and not just upon general problem solving
      • Clients are helped to move forward with solutions to psychological and social problems that they define and hope to solve
      • They are assisted to find solutions through their own actions or tasks
    • Values Enhancement/Moral Reasoning
      • Conflicts of interest underlie moral problems
      • Resolving problems not through force requires: empathy and understanding in personal relationships, use of reasoning and applying principles such as fairness and reciprocity
      • Programme teaches moral reasoning and empathy by challenging clients to examine their beliefs and develop the ability to understand how others think and feel
      • Clients take part in discussions and role plays requiring them to think about their responses, the feelings of others and to consider alternative view points
  • Men Who Are Violent To Women - Domestic Violence

    • This programme can be run in groups or one to one depending on numbers and individual client needs.
    • There are 28 modules; the length of the programme/work undertaken varies.
    • Placing the programme in the context of probation both signals the seriousness with which such offending is regarded and offers the opportunity to monitor the offender's behaviour.
    • Underpinning theories and goals of programme
      • Perspective taken is that male violence is intentional, albeit not conscious, behaviour that men use to maintain power over and to control women in intimate relationships
      • Men are socialised into believing they are superior to, and have rights over women.
      • Men's violence is learned behaviour over which they have choice. Focus is on men's responsibility for violence
      • Emphasises challenging attitudes and beliefs about self, men and women, and relating these beliefs to their actions
      • Key skills taught include empathy, self monitoring of moods and patterns of behaviour that are destructive, improved communication, negotiation and assertiveness
    • Programme Content
      • Defining violence and abuse
      • Healthy relationships
      • Recognising and identifying emotions
      • Male socialisation/growing up male
      • Demystifying violence
      • Making myself safer
      • Women's experience of violence and abuse
      • Developing empathy
      • Skills for non-violence
      • Negative/positive thinking
      • Communication
      • Fair arguing
      • Understanding jealousy
      • Recognising personal change
      • Assertiveness/aggression/passivity
  • Sexual Offender Treatment Programme

    • The programme has been developed by Forensic Psychologist Dr David Briggs who acts as consultant to Probation Officers delivering the programme.
      • Designed for use with offenders aged 18 or over
      • Designed for use with men who have been convicted of a sexual offence or where sexually motivated behaviour underpins criminal activity
      • Overall aim is risk management - treatment and surveillance both have a role to play in risk management
      • Number of sessions varies, the programme is delivered on a one to one basis
    • Programme Content
    • Motivation Module
      • Explores the costs and benefits of changing for the offender
      • Encourages the offender to review their past success at managing urges to sexually abuse and fosters strategies for self-management
      • Promotes responsibility taking for past sexually abusive behaviour
    • Addressing Attitudes Supportive of Offending
      • Dysfunctional attitudes are seen as risk factors related to re-offending. For example, women as wanting or deserving rape, sexual entitlement and callous attitudes
      • The offender's attitudes towards his sexual offending are explored and they are encouraged to accept that thinking errors are common in sexual offending
      • An aim of this module is for the offender to work towards describing their offence without using excuses and distorted beliefs
    • Managing Offence Related Sexual Interests
      • Sexual arousal and the use of fantasy in relation to offending are explored
      • Offenders are taught techniques to contain and control urges to offend
    • Promoting Social Functioning/Intimacy
      • Aids the offender's development of an internal locus of control. Owning responsibility for one's actions is an important component of change
      • Strategies for coping with emotional loneliness and overcoming low self esteem are taught
      • Looks at ways of developing healthy intimacy in adulthood and an understanding of how emotional needs may have been met through contact with children
    • Promoting Behavioural Control
      • Teaches problem solving skills and demonstrates its relevance to sexual offending and relapse prevention
  • Therapeutic work with Internet Sex Offenders

    • (Quayle, Erooga, Wright, Taylor and Harbinson)
      • The target group for this programme are those convicted of accessing, making, and/or sharing abusive images of children on the internet.
      • The programme is not a 'cure' for sexual offending, rather it seeks to enable offenders to recognise and take full responsibility for their part in the abuse of children. It also seeks to equip participants with the skills necessary to avoid re-offending if they choose to do so.
      • This programme is not as developed as other programmes and is not provided in workbook style. As such, facilitators must adapt the research and expected learning points from each module into accessible sessions. Guernsey Probation Service has been devising it's own 'workbook' to accompany the programme.
      • The course consists of seven modules. If undertaken weekly, this programme would last approximately 6 months, each session lasting about 2 hours.
      • The course can be run as a group work programme or one to one. Group work is preferable as it enables greater challenge and a more productive learning environment.
    • The Process of Offending on the Internet
      • Use a process model of offending behaviour to identify the types of behaviour the offender had been engaged in
      • Look at the pathway to offending, and in what way the offence behaviour has progressed
      • Look at the factors that facilitated or inhibited movement through that process
      • Images are Children
      • Confront the offender with the reality of the pictures as being evidence of abusive relationships
      • Assist the offender to empathise with the experience of such children
      • Look at the offending process that lies behind such victimisation
    • Fantasy and its Escalation
      • Offer strategies to explore the use of internet abuse images (and perhaps pornography in general) in the escalation of fantasy with adults with a sexual interest in children
      • Assist offenders to gain some understanding of the role of internet based fantasy in their sexual behaviour
      • Assist in the development of strategies to control problematic fantasy
    • Emotional Avoidance
      • Suggest ways of assessing how offender's values might be a vehicle for accepting distressing thoughts and feelings without acting on them
      • Assist offenders to develop mindfulness skills as an additional strategy to avoid re-offending
      • Assist offenders to develop an understanding of distress tolerance skills (i.e. managing negative thoughts and feelings)
    • Social Activity and Internet Images
      • Assessment of an offenders online versus their off line social worlds, and the level of overlap
      • Identify the level of engagement with the internet community
      • Identify what online relationships might have meant and how this might be met in their off-line life
    • Collecting Images
      • This module is most relevant for those who collect and catalogue images
      • Assist offender in assessing and developing their awareness of the reasons for collecting abuse images
      • Consideration of the trading of abuse images
      • Examine the function 'collecting' had in their life
    • Maintaining Change
      • Relapse prevention
      • Development of an individual risk management plan
      • Development of a good life plan
      • Set goals for the future
      • Expectations of future/ongoing work



2016 Probation Service Annual Report Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) 2016 Annual Report Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report 2015

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