Some are finding the latest reports regarding probation officers in England and Wales extremely grim, especially the officers whose main job involve managing sex offenders.
It is disturbing enough that they have huge caseloads, but coupled with lack of skills and inadequate training; many feel that this could prove to be disastrous for the victims and their families.
Probation officers involved in this independent study say they lack important job support, handle excessive workloads, and felt they were unable to interact and engage fully with these offenders due to time constraints.
Many said they have no time to challenge or discuss behaviour modification.
The criminal justice joint inspection study found that even the veteran staff had confidence issues in dealing with sex offenders, saying, “Workloads were always heavy, but now there is a general feeling of being “left out to dry.”
New career probation employees interviewed said, "they felt inadequate, overworked, under trained and could not fully engage with the offenders.” The job caseload for probation recruits averages between thirty-five and sixty, but in one area was as high as 85 cases per officer.
Probation managers stated that opening up new jobs and training the existing staff would handle these structural issues. They add, “We only hope that it is done before the public is made to pay for it.”
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