The Probation Service on St Helena consists of two UK qualified Probation Officers. The core aims of the service are to protect the public, assist rehabilitation and encourage and support desistance. Organisationally the team sits within the Police Directorate and Line Management falls to the DCI heading the CID team. Professional supervision is maintained with Senior Probation Managers from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) in England and Wales. The Probation Service are nominated members of the island’s Safeguarding Board and deliver regular training to stakeholders and supporting agencies upon request.
The Probation Service provide support to the weekly Magistrates Court in addition to the Supreme Court as required. Probation Officers complete pre-sentence reports (PSRs) in both a short and full assessment format. PSRs are a key service provided to the Court as they assist Magistrates and Judges in determining the most suitable means of dealing with an offender.
A Probation Order can be made from 12 months to three years in total. During these orders, intervention is aimed at preventing reoffending whilst also working closely with the offender to identify areas that help promote their rehabilitation. This may include one to one exercises centred in Cognitive Behavioural methods as well as the principles of the ‘Good Lives’ Model in that it is largely ‘approach goal’ (i.e. positive goals) and motivational in its focus.
A Community Service Order can be made in respect of any offender and can considered to be a direct alternative to custody. Work is designed to support non-profit organisations e.g. charities, community centres and church groups. Prison Officers or organisations can supervise this work and individual placements are also sought out where appropriate. Probation retains the overall responsibility for these orders as well as development and maintenance of relationships with our partner agencies. The minimum number of hours that can be ordered by the Court is 40 hours, the maximum is 240 hours.
Probation Officers are responsible for the provision of all one-to-one offending behaviour work with prisoners in addition to some group work sessions. The Probation Service are also responsible for providing assessments to inform sentence management alongside Senior Prison Officers and provide input as required to the Prison Manager and the Prison Visitors Committee. The majority of prisoners are released having served two thirds of their custodial sentence. They will serve the remaining one third in the community on Post Release Licence supervised by the Probation Service. In the event of any breaches of the Post Release Licence, individuals may be recalled to custody.
MAPPA – Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
Probation Officers Chair the local Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements which are in place to ensure joint up management of violent and sexual offenders takes place on island. Represented at the meetings are; Prison, Housing, Children and Adults Social Care, Police and the Community Mental Health Team, The Probation Service work closely with a dedicated Police Offender Manager to ensure effective risk management of Registered Sex Offenders.
Youth Diversion Scheme
The Probation Service also head the voluntary Youth Diversion Scheme (YDS) which aims to divert young people away from the criminal justice system. This scheme is aimed at children and young people aged 8 – 17 who are considered to be at risk of offending or who have committed low level or first time offences.
Current Team information
Coleman House (Front),
Fiona Campbell, Probation Officer
Laura Aston, Probation Officer