If you have been in court for committing an offence, and either plead guilty or are found guilty, there are a number of ways that you can link in with the Probation Service:
You could be referred for an assessment, usually called a probation report
If the judge is thinking of sending you to prison she might ask the Probation Officer to see if you are suitable to do unpaid work (community service) in the community instead of going to prison
The judge might give you a prison sentence and suspend all or part of that sentence on the condition that you remain under the supervision of the Probation Service
It could also happen, even if you are sent to prison, that you could have contact with the Probation Service, either through Community Return, Supervised Temporary Release (TR) or supervision while out on license (life sentenced prisoners)
The term probation can be used to describe any of the above arrangements.
The Probation Service's work believes in a person's capacity for change. Our staff are highly trained, and skilled in probation work, and committed to helping you to change/turn your life around. Because of that, you can be assured that your Probation Officer will do everything possible to help you to avoid reoffending and give you the best chance of changing. Working with your Probation Officer you will be challenged and assisted to take the necessary actions to address the issues which have led to your offending behaviour.
You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by everyone you meet in the Probation Service and if you have any complaints you can get information on this website about what to do.
The links below will give you more information on any of the following: