Starting probation can be confusing. So, here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you:
You will meet your case manager who will discuss your offence with you and explain the details of your sentence. You will work together to start writing your sentence plan.
You will work with your case manager to create a sentence plan that sets out what your rehabilitation will involve.
The aim of your sentence plan is to lower your risk of reoffending and to make sure that you and others in the community remain safe.
You will be asked to think about the things in your life that might lead you to reoffend and to work with your case manager to find ways to help you stay out of trouble.
The number of appointments you have with your case manager will vary depending on:
- The requirements of your licence/community order
- Your assessed level of risk
- Any needs you may have.
- Community Payback: This is unpaid work that benefits the community and could range from painting and decorating, gardening, litter picking, graffiti removal to working with local charities.
- Programmes: You may be asked to attend group sessions that aim to empower you to develop the skills and behaviours that will help you to avoid reoffending.
- Rehabilitation Activity Requirements (RARs): These are a mixture of appointments and activities we have designed to help you avoid reoffending. For example, if you have issues, such as gambling, alcohol misuse, or aggression, we may ask you to go on a short, focused course to help you change your behaviour.
You can ask us for a travel warrant to attend your appointment if you live more than three miles away from the office and are claiming benefits. Your case manager will give you details for claiming travel warrants.
The information you give us will be held securely and kept in confidence. There will be times when we need to provide information to other agencies such as housing providers, treatment providers or healthcare professionals to support your rehabilitation. This will be with your consent. But, if you give us information that is linked to possible risk of harm to yourself or others, or about an offence which has been or may be committed, we have a duty to pass this on to the relevant agency.
You must tell any future employer of your offence/s if they ask you. This is called ‘disclosure’. It is a criminal offence if you do not disclose your conviction when an employer asks you.
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, your offence/s will be taken off your record after a set amount of time based on your sentence.
If you are in work now and have not already told your employer about your record, we advise you check your employment contract or contact your solicitor to confirm whether you need to disclose your conviction.