Finding work in the UK or EU probation systems

f you're looking for a fulfilling career that helps change people's lives, becoming a probation officer could be the answer. Probation officers supervise offenders serving prison and community sentences, also helping with their rehabilitation after they've completed their sentence.
You'll need to be able to communicate with a wide range of people, have a non-judgmental approach, remain calm under pressure and handle challenging behaviour. Your aim is to reduce crime and protect the public by reducing the risk of reoffending, helping offenders integrate into the community and making them aware of how their offence has affected victims and the public.
You'll work with offenders before, during and after sentencing, sometimes as part of a field team, preparing reports for the courts and also supervising offenders in the local community. There's also the option to work in prisons or other "approved" premises (formerly called probation hostels).
Your work might include advising judges and magistrates on suitable sentences, such as Community Orders; ensuring offenders attend supervision appointments and participate in unpaid community work; running group programmes to change offenders' attitude and behaviour and completing risk assessments, aimed at helping parole review boards decide on early release from prison.
To qualify for probation officer jobs in the UK, you need to begin as a probation services officer, then study for a degree or postgraduate qualification in Community Justice and also a Level 5 Diploma in Probation Practice.
In the UK, the non-profit organisation Skills For Justice can offer further advice on joining the probation service, liaising closely with the police, law enforcement agencies, tribunal and prosecution services, courts, custodial care and youth justice and offender management services.
The EU probation system is subject to probation rules drawn up by the Council of Europe in January 2010, aimed at harmonising laws across member states on matters of common interest, recognising how probation contributes to a fair criminal justice process.
The legislation aims to improve public safety by preventing and reducing reoffending, recognising probation agencies as "key agencies of justice", whose work impacts on decreasing the prison population.
The Confederation of European Probation (CEP) plays a role in shaping the probation system in the EU, liaising with probation professionals and promoting social inclusion for offenders through community service, probation, mediation and conciliation.

It works to improve professionalism in the probation field, on a European level, by organising international conferences for those professionals involved in the service to discuss and develop new ideas.

Until next time, Jada x

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