Probation visit protocol
This is the protocol for supporting people through a meeting with their supervising officer (more commonly known as probation officer).
When to go to a Probation Appointment
Anyone who is released from prison on parole or licence will be required to meet with their probation officer. If an appointment is missed without advance notice or 'good reason' (and a letter from a doctor or employer), the person can be recalled.
What to do before the probation appointment
- You and your buddy must check the licence conditions with the person you're caring for. These will always include the Standard Six for every person on parole or licence. Additional licence conditions, such as being required to live in a certain area, may also apply. More info on licence conditions here and here
- Discuss anything that might come up in the appointment. The probation service may have contacted the person you're caring for about specific topics prior (such as social media use or alcohol). Talk with the person you're caring for about any worries they have for the appointment.
- You should get you, your buddy and the person you're caring for something to drink/eat whilst preparing for the appointment.
How to do a Probation Appointment
- You will not be allowed into the probation office building. Find somewhere nearby for you and your buddy to sit after you have walked the person to the probation office (McDonald's or similar is good for this: ready access to cheap food and drink, will be able to sit there for a while). Most appointments take less than an hour.
- Ask the person you're caring for to meet you there after they have finished their appointment. You should offer them something to drink/eat.
- You and your buddy should check in with how the person you're caring for is feeling after the appointment. Probation appointments are often triggering as they force the formerly incarcerated person to revisit their time spent in prison and other related traumas. You can give the person a bit of time to feel comfortable and settled in wherever you are after the appointment before discussing the details.
- Talk about the appointment with the person: have any new conditions been added, did the officer raise particular concerns, was a warning letter given to the person, when is the next appointment.
- If the NPS(National Probation Service) are claiming that licence conditions have been broken and are threatening recall, you may want to help the person you're caring for contact their solicitor immediately after the appointment to lodge an appeal.
What to do after a Probation Appointment
- You must check in with your buddy after you have left the person you're caring for and made sure they are able to get where they're next going safely
- You should claim expenses
- You can arrange for you and your buddy to support the person at their next probation appointment