Roles and Function of the Probation After-Care Officer

Did you know:

  • That the Community Probation Services is an arm of the Department of Correctional Services?
  • That the Department of Correctional Services is a Department of the Ministry of National Security?
  • That the Probation Officer is an Officer of the Court?
  • That the Probation Officer supervises clients placed on orders by the Children's, Resident Magistrates Circuit Courts and the Parole Board?
  • That the Probation Officer works with wards and inmates in the Juvenile and Adult Correctional Institutions?
  • That the Probation Officer is the only civilian who supervises inmates and parolees in the Adult Institutions and in the Open Society.
  • That there is a Probation Office in every parish in Jamaica, except Kingston & St. Andrew, St. James and St. Catherine which all have two Offices each?

Investigative Role (Court Requirement):

  • Circumstance of the Offence.
  • Early Life & Family Background.
  • Home situation with emphasis on interpersonal relationship.
  • School attendance with regard to their level of attainment and behaviour pattern.
  • Employment record – The frequency with which offenders change jobs. Ability to work with others. Honest or dishonest life-style.
  • The offender’s psycho-social and socio economic conditions are considered.
  • As professionals, the Probation Officers study each case individually and assess the problem. Make recommendations to the Resident Magistrates and the Judges, which assist them to determine the type of sentence to give an individual, especially children and young persons under 25 years old.
  • Interview inmates and wards on entry into the Juvenile and Adult Institutions.
  • Interview and recommend wards and inmates for home leave, and weekend release. Interview and submit reports to the parole board re: inmates who are considered suitable to be paroled.

Supervisory Role:

  • Probation Orders (1-3 Years)
  • Offenders on suspended sentence with supervision order (1-3 years)
  • Community Service Orders (40 hrs - 480 hrs)
  • Children on supervision
  • Children on statutory supervision

Some Determinants of Supervision:

  • The client's risk needs are analyzed and the frequency of visits by both clients and officers are determined.
  • Treatment goals are realized by Probation Officers and clients, which are monitored and modified during the period.
  • Link between wards, parents, guardians or significant others and inmates and their families during incarceration.
  • Assist with inmates', social and economic problems.
  • Prepare inmates for their return to the free society.
  • Supervise Parolees for both definite and indeterminate periods.

Who Can Access the Services of the Probation After-Care Officer?

  • Children who are abused.
  • Family members who are physically, emotionally and sexually abused.
  • Parents who need help with parenting skills
  • Parents with problem children
  • Guidance Counsellors.
  • Principals - Schools.
  • Church Groups.
  • Youth Clubs or Groups.
  • Support Groups.
  • Parent Teachers Association.
  • Police
  • Any Person who needs assistance.

The Probation Officer is:

  • A Mediator
  • A Facilitator
  • A Counsellor
  • A Broker
  • A Catalyst for change
  • A Confidant
  • An Advocate

In family related matters, such as:

  • Custody
  • Affiliation
  • Maintenance
  • Guardianship
  • Protection Order
  • Occupation Order