You may be looking for a new career path or just wondering what’s involved in certain jobs. Finding out about the work of probation officers was really interesting but I don’t think it will be the job for me.
A day in the life of a probation officer
A probation officer supervises offenders during their punishment and helps them to integrate back into their community after they have served their time. Part of the role is to transform the life of the offender and help them to understand how the crime they committed affected any victims of their crime, including the general public. The main aim of the job is to reduce the risk of future offending.
Probation officer Kelly Grice told The Guardian: “It’s the kind of job that, at the end of the week, as hectic as it will always be, I’ll have that sense of having actually achieved something. I’ve done something that has had an impact on someone, or has made a meaningful contribution in some way.”
A working day for a probation officer is not typically a 9-5 job and you may not be based in one particular location. You may be expected to cover weekends and evenings or spend some time travelling to visit different prisons, attend court or run community-based group sessions.
Your work tasks will vary from day to day; this means you will need to be flexible and well organised. Some typical tasks include:
– interviewing offenders
– writing reports
– enforcing community orders
– running group sessions
– writing risk assessments
– helping with rehabilitation
– visiting victims
– working with prisoners who are due to be released
If you’re looking for a job that’s interesting, this could be the job for you. Newly qualified probation officer Martin Larby said: “I love it. No two days are ever the same and I love the daily challenges my job presents… I wanted something to test my brain, and although the job can be daunting at times, I love the feeling of helping people move their lives in the right direction.”
As a probation officer you will meet many people with their own story, personal experience and background. They may have committed horrendous crimes and some of them can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s vital to have strong interpersonal skills, as you will be expected to work with all kinds of offenders.
An unidentified probation officer told the BBC: “There has to be trust on both sides and there needs to be respect. Even if they have committed heinous crimes, you have to treat them with dignity because that’s the starting point.”
Probation officer jobs are not for the faint-hearted. They require someone who can stay calm under pressure and cope with potentially stressful situations. You would need to have a non-judgmental approach, responsible attitude and be able to gain the trust of those you work with. If you’re someone who can use their own initiative, stay motivated and can commit to making a difference, then you may just have what it takes to be a probation officer and contribute to making a better future for your community.
An interesting prospect…is this a job you could do?
*This is a collaborative post