Working for Probation

There are a number of different roles and jobs within Norfolk & Suffolk Probation Trust requiring different types of skills and qualifications:

Working directly with offenders

The core business of the Probation Service involves working directly with offenders in the following ways:

Offender managers: These staff work mostly in field teams in our five main sites of Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Kings Lynn, Lowestoft and Norwich. High and medium risk offenders are managed by qualified Probation Officers, while lower and some medium risk offenders are dealt with by Probation Services Officers. The role involves assessing offenders particularly in relation to the risk they pose, advising courts on sentences, managing offenders subject to statutory orders, implementing planned work with offenders and enforcing orders. Most of the work takes place with offenders in the community although there is a significant amount of work with serving prisoners in preparing them for release. There is also a lot of inter-agency work with, for example, the police, prisons, courts, social care, housing, health, and voluntary organisations.

Interventions staff: These staff deliver specific interventions as part of the plans that are set by Offender Managers. This can involve the following:

  • delivery of groupwork and individual programmes to offenders to address specific offending issues e.g. sex offending, domestic violence, substance abuse, violent offending, acquisitive crime
  • supervision and management of offenders undertaking community unpaid work projects as part of their sentence
  • managing and supervising residents at the three Approved Premises in Norfolk and Suffolk
  • assisting offenders with specific problems such as accessing employment, training and education, support to find suitable accommodation, and financial and debt advice.

Many of the roles within interventions are undertaken by Probation Services Officers, although work with some of the higher risk group work programmes and some roles within the Approved Premises require a Probation Officer Qualification.

Prison-based staff: There are seven prisons in Norfolk and Suffolk and all of these have staff from Norfolk & Suffolk Probation Trust seconded to them. They have a vital role to play in maintaining links with outside Probation Staff in order to ensure successful rehabilitation into the community. They also undertake assessments of prisoners, advise on suitable programmes and needs for prisoners, deliver some programmes of work, and write a variety of reports relating to suitability and plans for release of offenders. Most staff in this work have to have a Probation Officer qualification but there are some supportive roles for Probation Services Officers.

Other Specialist Roles related to Offenders:

Victim Contact Officers: These are normally Probation Services Officers. Have a role in providing information to victims about sentenced prisoners in order to ensure that their needs are considered in any release plans.

Court-based staff: All criminal courts in Norfolk and Suffolk (magistrates’ and crown courts) have Probation Services Officers working in them. Their role is to advise the courts on matters relating to the Probation Service, prosecute breach proceedings, present and undertake court reports, and ensure timely and accurate flows of information.

Partnership staff: These organise and plan work with partnership agencies who will deliver services to offenders eg alcohol and drug services, employment and debt services. Staff in these roles are normally of a management grade.

Other roles: As with any organisation there is a need for supportive functions and management roles to ensure proper accountability and delivery of services. Support roles include administration, finance, IT, HR and communications.