How important is the quality of the relationship between the offender and their probation officer in reducing offending behaviour?

Introduction

This report aims to explain the definition of community justice and to further explain method of restorative justice and how these methods assist in the prevention of crime. It will critically assess the current probation services available to offenders, whether or not these are working to decrease crime statistics and the disadvantages of this method of crime prevention.

The National Probation service is currently under extreme strain, this report will explain why this is and the negative effect this has on an offender. Furthermore, it will establish the importance of a relationship between an offender and their probation officer and what happens when this relationship isn’t as strong or transparent as it should be.

Community Justice

Community Justice is the term given to the method of crime prevention and justice activities that explicitly involve the community wronged by an offender in a bid to enhance the life of the community as a whole. Over the years, this method of crime prevention has seen the development of many different methods and theories, such as Community policing and Community defence.

‘Restorative requirements are viewed not as punishment but as obligations assumed through membership in a community.’ (Semantics Scholar, ND) The idea and aim of Community service it to place the offender back into the community whilst also allowing them to make amends for the wrongs done to the community and build a successful life for themselves. However, this method also relies heavily on the assistance and monitoring of probation officers.

The main purposes of Community Justice are to:

  • Focus on the harm caused by the crime committed by repairing the harm/damage done, making amends with the victim(s) and reducing the future harm by preventing crime
  • Requiring offenders to take responsibility for their actions
  • Assisting the offender with reintegration back into the community whilst assisting them in the building of a healthy and successful life
  • Bringing the community together with the government in a co-operative method

Restorative Justice Model

Restorative Justice aims to bring offenders and victims together and into communication. The purpose of this model is to bring a community together in the restoration of an offender’s life, focusing on the harm caused rather than the law broken. This model believes that the one harmed, should be the one has the say on how the harm should be addressed and repaired.

The model is designed to take into account all aspects of a case, such as the community, the victim and harm caused and the offender.

Probation

Probation in legal terms, is the period of supervision over an offender following an offence being committed as opposed to a custodial sentence. When on probation, an offender manager is assigned, this person is responsible for the monitoring of the offender, ensuring their progress is positive and making sure all rules set by a Judge are followed. These rules include curfews and a set amount of unpaid working hours.

By Shelby Keppel

Paralegal

References

Semantics scholar, Community Justice: A conceptual Framework, ND [Online PDF] Accessible via: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/73d0/a984e85ad5614d5d5c9fd65c93e7426b0e3f.pdf [Last Accessed: 06th June 2020]

Bibliography

Restorative Justice Council, what is Restorative Justice? 2016. [Online] Accessible via: https://restorativejustice.org.uk/what-restorative-justice [Last Accessed 06th June 2020]

Gov. UK, Probation. ND. [Online] Accessible via: https://www.gov.uk/guide-to-probation [Last Accessed: 6th June 2020]

Gov.UK, The National Probation Service. ND. [Online] Accessible via: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-probation-service [Last Accessed 7th June 2020]

Sage Journals, the place of the officer-offender relationship in assisting offenders to desist from crime. 2005. [Online] Accessible via: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0264550505055112 [Last Accessed 07th June 2020]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.