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JIS News

The Department of Correctional Services will host a one day conference on Thursday, June 19, for over 170 Probation After Care Officers islandwide.
This was disclosed by Aileen Wolfe Stephens, Deputy Commissioner in charge of Human Resource Management and Community Service, in an interview with JIS News.
“The conference is to have all Probation After Care Officers islandwide have a common understanding of the direction of the organization and also to be updated regarding the trends and practices and how it impacts their role and function as Probation After Care Officers. The conference will also bring new direction regarding strategies in dealing with offending behaviour by persons placed on community based sentences,” Mrs. Wolfe Stephens explained.
Under the theme: ‘Managing Community Corrections,’ the conference will be held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa, Ocho Rios, St. Ann commencing at 8:30 a.m.
According to the Deputy Commissioner, the theme was quite fitting, because it “looks primarily at preventive ways of correcting offending behaviour and the Probation After Care Officers operate in an offender management programme on a three tiered basis.”
Mrs. Wolfe Stephens explained that the officers work with the courts, within their communities and within correctional institutions and that the conference is crucial in ensuring that they are continuously kept abreast of new information.
“The conference is really something that we try to make happen as frequently as possible, because we believe training and development activities are in fact critical components of the probation officers’ job functions. They must be kept abreast of new trends and practices with the hope that being kept current, they will be able to carry out their mandate,” she said.
“They have a responsibility to ensure that all persons placed under their care or supervision are in fact corrected. In-other-words, they must be rehabilitated to the level where they can operate within their communities as law abiding, peaceful and most importantly, productive citizens,” she added.
Activities for the day will include presentations on a variety of topics. These include, a session by Dr. Peta-Ann Baker, Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), who will address, ‘Community Corrections – its Strategies and Techniques for Social Intervention.’ Another session will be led by Donna Morrison from the Cabinet Office, who will focus on: ‘Performance Management and Appraisal System.’ Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese will also make a presentation on: ‘Community Corrections – Embrace the Vision, Keep the Focus.’ A discussion will take place after each presentation.