TC loyal to his close friends which

TC is a 19 year old white British male who resides in my local area. TC
received a 12 month custodial sentence which had been suspended for 24 months
for an offence of Actual Bodily Harm. Within this suspended sentence order TC
has the following requirements; Supervision Requirement for 12 months,
Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR), The Thinking Skills Programme (TSP)
and finally an Unpaid Work Requirement. He is assessed as being Medium Risk of
Serious Harm and High Risk of Re-offending.

TC is a care leaver with a very difficult background, therefore has
various attachment and trust issues. This is the first time he has been on
Probation as beforehand he was managed by The Youth Offending Team (YOT) due to
his age. TC is a regular user of Cannabis and is very loyal to his close
friends which actually influenced him commit the offence to begin with.

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Within the role of a Probation Officer or Probation Service Officer it
is crucial to consider the various methods that can be useful to support
rehabilitation. This essay will use the case study of TC and will consider a
number of ways in which practitioners could use to aid supervision sessions,
which in turn can help reduce the risks of re-offending and risk of serious
harm.  

The job of a Probation Officer or Probation Service Officer is a complex
one that is constructed by various different roles. Dowden and Andrews (2004)
indicate that; effective use of authority, appropriate modelling and
reinforcement, problem solving, effective use of community resources and
quality of interpersonal relationships are key skills practitioners should use
for effective practice. To effectively manage TC within the community it would
be crucial for practitioners to take these factors into account before meeting
TC. During the initial stages of his order it would be a priority to go over
the sentence, be clear and concise, address any equality or diversity issues
and to build up a rapport. An examination of recent studies show that building
a professional working rapport is seen as necessary for achieving compliance
and nurturing the motivation to change (Burnett and McNeill, 2005, p.237). The
building of this rapport with TC could take a long time, but it is seen as a
gradual process which is also necessary to promote desistance.

In recent years, Probation has gone through significant changes due to
an act of parliament called ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ in 2014. The privatisation
of part of the Probation Service saw the implementation of the National
Probation Service who managed Medium and High risk offenders and the Community
Rehabilitation Company who manage Medium to Low risk offenders. One specific
problem with the constant changes in caseloads and the split of the Probation
service is continuity of the same Offender Manager. An article presented by
Robinson (2005) reflects on this recent ‘fragmentation’ within the Probation
service, and reiterates the importance of consistency of Offender Manager. This
particular barrier would need to be taken into account when managing TC, as
academics raise the concern of diminished compliance and fewer programme
completions (Robinson, 2005). This potential barrier would need to be managed
correctly to reduce the risks of TC not completing the TSP or UPW element.
Recently an emphasis on desistance from crime has been implemented by the
Probation Service. There is no agreed definition of desistance, but most
academics associate it with both ceasing and refraining from offending (Weaver
and McNeill, 2007). It is important to note that as Maloney et al (2009)
suggests, that it is not an immediate event rather a process that occurs over
time.

After the induction process has been complete the next few
sessions will be working towards building a rapport and the allocated Probation
Officer or Probation Service Officer will need to complete the initial sentence
plan on OASys. This assessment plan consists of a comprehensive analysis of
TC’s circumstances using static and dynamic risk tools. Within the OASys
assessment Risk, Need and Responsivity (RNR) will need to be taken into account,
alongside any other needs of TC which may not been deemed necessarily
criminogenic. Taking into account these 3 key principles are crucial towards an
accurate and defensible risk management plan. It has been found that not only
does the RNR principles contribute towards offender risk instruments, but also
provides useful information towards offender treatment (Bonta and Andrews,
2007). When this assessment is complete, it will provide a comprehensive
assessment of TC’s risk factors, risk of serious harm and risk of re-offending.
In this particular case, TC was assessed to be Medium Risk of Serious Harm and
High Risk of Re-Offending therefore the intervention for TC, would need to be
matched with the risk of harm. As mentioned by Andrews, Bonta and Wormith (2006)
It is required that the risk principle is rewarded by enhanced public
protection from recividist crime.

Once the initial sentence plan alongside the induction
pack was complete with this particular offender, it was evident that TC held strong
anti-social beliefs and attitudes. In recent years, there has been an emphasis
on ‘What works’ or evidence based practice (Merrington and Stanley, 2004). This
changed the ways in which practitioners worked, and put an emphasis on
evidenced based theories. One theory that is seen as a crucial part of
Probation work is the Pro-Social Modelling Theory. This theory was first
introduced by Chris Trotter (2009) and it is described as the theory in which
Probation staff interact with their service users. In short term, this model
would be hugely beneficial to be used in the case of TC, considering he has
significant anti-social and pro-criminal attitudes. Using PSM puts an emphasis
on TC to take full responsibility of his order. Not only this, it requires
practitioners to actively reinforce pro-social behaviours or attitudes and to discourage
negative anti-social behaviour or attitudes (Cherry, 2005). When used
consistently, the idea is that these pro-social interactions with service users
would eventually would influence TC’s behaviour and attitudes.

During TC’s initial period on
Probation, it was beneficial to use the Cycle of Change model introduced by
Prochaska and DiClemente. This model allows the practitioner and service user
to be able to identify what stage they are and is a good starting point to
allow the service user to see what part of the cycle of change they are
currently in. Not only that, it allows the service user to be able to see the
gradual process towards desistance and can assist when coming up with an
effective initial sentence plan. One barrier which needs to be considered is
the level of engagement of TC. During supervision sessions with TC, it became
clear his engagement and motivation at times were questionable. One way in
which this was addressed specifically was to utilise TC’s Rehabilitation
Activity Requirement (RAR) sessions by using Motivational Interviewing (MI)
techniques. MI uses a
counselling style known as a person-centred approach. Whilst supporting, it is
directive without being controlling. Motivational Interviewing can lead to the
following; enhanced engagement, improved motivation to change and a change in
behaviour (McMurran, 2009). 

It is important to remember that Probation Staff should work on a case
to case basis addressing any equality and diversity needs of that particular
person. This would also mean that the service in
general is abiding by the Equalities Act 2010, which is a crucial. TC is
a 19 year old male who is a care leaver therefore this needs to be taken into
account during supervision sessions. TC’s level of maturity and moral judgement
may differ from those who are older or have had more of a stable upbringing. A
recent Meta-Analysis revealed that there was a
significantly lower stage of moral judgment for juvenile delinquents compared
to that of juvenile non-delinquents (Stams et al 2006, p710). Not only is this
Important to take into account during supervision sessions it would also be crucial
for the practitioner to pass on any relevant information to the programme staff
from the CRC who will be completing the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) and the
Unpaid Work (UPW) to be aware. Furthermore, during the initial period on
Probation it would be the task of the Probation Officer or Probation Service
Officer to complete the Equality and Diversity form as well as the Self
Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) form to furthermore explore any diversity or
equality needs of TC.

From my experience with working with young people who used
to be managed by the Youth Offending Team (YOT), it has been clear that there
can be a lack of transition from each organisation. This can make it difficult
during the initial period on Probation, as from my experience the Youth
Offending Team has a different way of working than Probation. Using the Pro-Social
Model alongside other theories would be once again beneficial with this
transition period. Encouragement and support during this period would seem to
assist in this process. Rex (1999) suggests that support and encouragement
plays a huge part of young offender’s behaviour and to promote desistance. TC
committed this crime with a co-defendant of similar age, and during supervision
it became clear that the ‘loyalty’ to his peers played a huge influence on TC’s
previous and current offending behaviour. Studies by academics would suggest
that young people who have delinquent peers, even after having control in other
influences in their life are less likely to desist from offending (Graham and
Bowling, 1995).

Throughout this essay, evidence based theories and
practice have been used upon my own experience working with TC to explain how a
practitioner may approach supervision, specifically with TC. Furthermore, potential
barriers and equality and diversity issues have been explored to allow a fair
and more suitable approach towards supervision sessions with TC. In conclusion,
not only has this essay has drawn upon relevant literature and theories around
how to approach supervision with TC, but has drawn upon the risk principle when
necessary.