Interventions
 

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Zureena Parveen, Programme Facilitator
We deliver a range of programmes that have been developed to tackle certain behaviours and attitudes such as an impulsive, negative approach to working out day-to-day problems or violence with others including personal relationships.

The programme team is linked in with our colleagues in the CRC who are managing different aspects of the offender’s supervision. There are regular meetings and discussions held so that we are all up-to-date on progress. We are not working in isolation just because we are delivering a specific intervention.

In Derby despite the day to day matters – that can sometimes weigh you down – we pull together to support each other and ensure the job is done to the best of our ability. My team help keep me grounded and enjoy providing me with constructive feedback on my delivery, especially when I do my spontaneous role plays within groupwork sessions!
 
 
Better ways, better choices
My skill as a programme facilitator is to evaluate the position or stage of each participant – and work with them at that level. Each session builds on the learning of the previous module so that they gradually acquire the understanding and confidence to adapt how they approach certain problems or situations. I would like each person attending our groupwork sessions to see that there are better ways, better choices they can make in their lives.

It is important that as a programme facilitator that I maintain an open mind and come across in a motivational and responsive way in order to enable group members to explore the values and beliefs behind their offending, or regrettable decisions they have made.
 
 
Worthwhile work
Sometimes I have seen an individual have that ‘light-bulb’ moment when the delivered material finally makes sense to them and they are able to reflect and apply this to their lives in terms of change. That really gives me a ‘buzz’. At other times I have to accept that I have planted a ‘seed of change’ that will grow as they continue with their offender journey with probation or afterwards.

I believe in what I am doing and that makes it all worthwhile.

 

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Raj Chavda, substance abuse worker
I have worked as a substance abuse worker since 2007 and before that I was employed by a local charity that provides advice and support to men and women with criminal convictions.

My work is fascinating because each case is different. I am often working at two levels. First, I am providing help and advice to deal with the effects of the substance abuse, whether that is drugs and alcohol or both. Secondly, I begin to build up the trust so we can start to look at the issues that may be driving this behaviour.
 
 
Recognising progress
I am sure most people are familiar with the phrase – ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ Quite often progress is slow, but I don’t give up and any slight advance is recognised as progress. I am working with people who may have a long history of established drug misuse.

Few of my cases have grown up in a safe and loving environment. Many have spent time in the care system and some have suffered abuse from figures in authority, particularly if they were children in the 70s. That’s a long time for an individual to keep these experiences locked up and not have sought help to deal with the hidden trauma.
 
 
Change is possible
I would say that I have a massive passion to work with offenders. I know that change can happen and that the individual sitting before me isn’t necessarily a bad person, but is someone who has made a mistake. It is possible to move on from this because in the past I was also convicted of an offence. I changed and I am proud of who I am today.

My work can have real impact on the individual, as well as making a difference to their families and the wider community.

 

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Lesley Annison, Probation Officer with Women’s Project
I was looking for a career change and the more I found out about probation work, the more I thought this is for me. I qualified in 2003 and worked in a generic probation field team before moving to the specialist Female Offending Team. We link in with a women’s project that is partly funded by the Nottingham City Council.
 
 
Interconnected
In my role I am concentrating as much on the women’s lifestyles and personal relationships as their offending as they are inevitably wrapped up in each other. The crimes have often been committed as a result of an abusive partner’s influence and manipulation.

One of my cases told me that I was the first person that had actually listened to what she had to say. You sometimes see shock on their faces when I say that I want to hear what they think, not their boyfriend or partner.
 
 
Highly skilled
My work does demand a high level of skill because I often have to coax the person I am dealing with to start to open up and talk about their feelings and what has happened to them. I don’t make judgements on what they say and I phrase my questions carefully so they can’t close down the conversation by responding with a simple yes or no.

Our training teaches us how to develop motivational interview skills that are so important in the work I am currently involved with. You have experience in one team that gives you valuable insights for when you move to a different aspect of probation work.  For example I have worked with men convicted of domestic violence and I am now supervising women offenders, a significant number have experienced mental and physical abuse at the hands of their partner.

As the work progresses I am able to build up a clearer picture of each female offender, which informs my assessment of their potential risk of re-offending so I can be aware of the warning signs that risk may be escalating.

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