Headlines: March 12th, 2007



A recruitment drive begins today to find more than 500 new trainee probation officers for England and Wales. Advertisements will appear this week in national newspapers looking for applications to enter a two-year training programme.

The new entrants will go on to become offender managers and will be responsible for supervising convicted offenders in the community, either as part of their community sentences or on their release from prison. Home Office Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who is responsible for the National Offender Management and Probation services, said well qualified probation officers were central to protecting the public and giving offenders a way out of crime.

“This recruitment exercise is part of our continuing investment to make sure the National Probation Service is able to supervise offenders who need to have the complex factors behind their offending addressed or their activities monitored to better protect the public,” he said.

The 560 new recruits to the service will be trained in assessment skills and the activities that are regarded as important in beginning to get offenders to change their attitudes, help them to end their dependency on drugs or alcohol and to get them into jobs. The new officers will join the 8,250 already in the job. Their training will be a combination of on-the-job experience and academic modules provided by accredited universities

Mr. Sutcliffe added, “It is not a job that anyone can do. A probation officer must feel confident in dealing with some of the most difficult people our society produces. The job is challenging, but the opportunity to change and improve lives or to reduce the trauma of crime for victims is a very powerful reward