Probation services report released

Retired Provincial Court Judge William Baker has been looking into adult probation services in N.L. His report, released today, includes 18 recommendations into how the Department of Justice can improve adult probation.

In a press release, Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General said “In doing its review, the department will consider recent improvements to adult probation services, which may already have addressed some of these recommendations.”

A few suggestions made by Baker were: moving the headquarters of the Office of the Chief Adult Probation Officer to the Department of Justice, undertaking violence risk assessments at all 14 probation offices, implementing a new home visit policy for Community Corrections and hiring a full-time regional manager to assist the Office of the Chief Adult Probation Officer. The majority of the other recommendations involve human resources and administrative issues.

In the Brief overview of findings, Baker wrote:

“Before outlining my findings I wish to advise the Minister that, in my opinion the probation system has not failed and is working extremely well. That it is working so well is somewhat amazing given the general working environment and perceptions prevalent through out the Service.”

“Most Adult Probation Officers feel that since the appointments of the Present Chief Adult Probation Officer and the Director of Corrections and Community Services things may be changing for the better. The Officers are supportive of the present incumbents. Notwithstanding any issues and concerns or general perceptions, the morale and dedication of Adult Probation Officers and their support staff are very high. They should be recognized and commended for their dedication to their profession and to fulfilling the mandate of Adult Probation Services.”

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