The Probation of Offenders Act of 1907 which brought about the birth of the Probation Service in Great Britain also provided for the establishment of a similar service here in the colonial territory. A Principal Probation Officer was appointed in 1945 and a full time Probation Service was established in 1946. The operations of Probation Services and its purpose and modus operandi are rooted in law
Probation Officers serve as Social Workers to the Courts of Trinidad and Tobago, assisting in the rehabilitation of persons who have come before it as a consequence of breaching the laws of the country. They also aid the Court in determining sentences by supplying social history reports in both criminal and family matters such as domestic violence, child maintenance and custody.
- With effect from 2012, Probation Officers provide rehabilitative services in the:
- Drug Treatment Courts at San Fernand and Tunapuna
- Bail Supervision Programme (formerly known as “Bail Boys Programme.”)
With effect from February 2018 the Children Court, Fyzabad and St Clair were opened.
With effect from December 2018 the Children Court, Tobago came on stream.
With effect from October 2019 the Family Court, Tobago was opened.
To become an effective and efficient functionary within the socio legal network and to promote the philosophy of Probation.
To promote the rehabilitation of probationers, offenders, victims and dysfunctional families through research and advocacy.
1. To promote the rehabilitation of probationers, offenders, victims and dysfunctional families
2. To develop understanding and skills in social work values;
3. To re-integrate offenders into communities and family; and
4. To prevent re-offending and to the protection of the public.
1. Supervision of Probationers
2. Preparation of Reports which includes Criminal Matters, Family Matters, Civil Matters and Domestic Violence Matters
3. Community Service Supervision
4. Bail Supervision
5. Counselling Matrimonial Matters
6. Family Sessions
7. Walk-in Clients (not referred to by the Court.)
Programmes carried out by Probation Services Division
1. Individual and Family Counselling
2. Remedial Therapy for Probationers
3. The “Thinking for a Change” Programme
4. Emergency Case Fund
Roles and Functions
- To supervise and facilitate the rehabilitation of those offenders who are placed on statutory probation to prevent recidivism.
- To prepare pre-sentence reports on persons found guilty of criminal offences in both the Magistrates Courts and the High Courts in order to assist the Courts in sentencing offenders.
- To prepare reports for the Appeal Court.
- To prepare reports in Legal Custody, Access and Maintenance Applications made to the Court.
- To supervise access orders in accordance with the Family Law Act No. 15 of 1981.
- To prepare reports for other State agencies such as the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, the Comptroller of Accounts and Foreign Social Services Agencies.
- To mediate in Maintenance and other Matrimonial Applications made to the Court
- To counsel parties in Domestic Violence matters and submit reports to the Court to determine a course of action
- To counsel parties referred by the court in all family-related matters and submit reports where necessary
- To prepare suitability reports and supervise persons placed on Community Service and Combination Orders
- To prepare Probation Officer’s Reports on all matters referred by the Children Court and make the necessary recommendations for:
- Committals to rehabilitation Centers
- Fit Person’s Orders
- To supervise and provide monitoring reports for children-at-risk at the request of the Children Court
- To ensure that sanctions are adhered to in the Peer Resolution process
- To counsel walk-in clients referred by agencies/persons outside of the Court system and to make referrals where necessary
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