For over 60 years, the Probation Department has been administering a service that is tailored to reshape character and assist offenders in charting a new and clean path in civil society.

However, these rehabilitative functions are, apparently, largely unknown to many Barbadians ??? an obvious exception being offenders who have benefited from probation service.

Therefore, the agency is implementing the Probation Department???s Programmes 2009 and Beyond ???as a strategy to assist in the rehabilitation of all offenders who are placed on probation and community service orders [by the courts]???.

The project will be launched on Friday, May 29, in a morning ceremony at the south coast Almond Bay Caterers – a highpoint of a week of events designed to bring the Probation Department into public awareness.

Another major attraction is the Training Opportunities Showcase slated for the Probation Department at No.33 Roebuck Street, St. Michael, on tomorrow Tuesday, May 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 2 :00 p.m.

Participants including the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Community College, the Barbados Vocational Training Board and the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme will make presentations to guidance counsellors and students of the senior forms on information about post-secondary training and what job opportunities exist afterwards.

Not only students, but also the wider community could get information on the probation service, established in 1946 under the Probation of Offenders Act,1945, during the showcase, being billed as ???Study It.???

A governmental agency with responsibility for the counselling and supervision of persons placed on probation and ordered to perform community service, the latter established in 2000, the Probation Department also prepares pre-sentence and means enquiry reports.

Standard methodology includes casework intervention and group work intended to train, discipline and inculcate good moral and social habits in offenders.

The Probation Officer acts as Social Advisor to the Courts, Guardian Ad Litem in adoption matters and works as a counsellor within the prison system, doubling as the liaison officer between the prisoner and family.

And, Chief Probation Officer Dorita Lovell or her nominee acts as Secretary to the After-Care Committee of the Dodds Prison at Dodds in St. Philip.

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