In prison and on release

Probation work in prisons

We have staff seconded to a number of prisons in the North East region. Probation staff work alongside prison staff in offender management units, contributing to the assessment and management of offenders as they progress through the custodial element of their sentence. This includes:

  • Involvement in the sentence planning process to ensure that appropriate objectives are set for each offender to address the factors underlying their offending and the risks they pose to others.
  • The production of a variety of reports to assess removals suitability for release.
  • The delivery of accredited offender behaviour programmes such as Sex offender treatment, Healthy relationships and Enhanced thinking skills.
  • Liaison with the police, probation and other relevant agencies under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements to ensure that appropriate plans are in place to manage high risk offenders upon release.

Release on licence

  • Most offenders, sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, do not serve the whole of their sentence in custody. At the halfway point in their sentence, they are released to serve the rest in the community, supervised by probation staff, known as being on licence.
  • All offenders are assessed to determine any risk they might pose to staff, other offenders and to the public after release.
  • Offenders sentenced to 12 months or more are usually supervised by probation when they come out of prison on licence. Offenders must attend regular appointments with probation staff, complete any work that is set for them and give us information about where they live & work.
  • At present, offenders serving prison sentences under 12 months are not subject to any statutory supervision, when they are released.

Probation staff can ask to include extra removals specific conditions in some licences, including:

  • Where the offender must live.
  • Attendance on treatment programmes relating to their offending behaviour.
  • Not visiting specific areas or making contact with certain people.
  • Not living in a house with children under a certain age.

Any offender who breaks the rules of their licence will be returned to prison to finish their sentence.


To maintain public safety, probation staff in the community work closely with other agencies to plan for the offender’s safe return to the community and their ongoing supervision. We work to help them achieve stable, crime free lives, which can help reduce the chances of further offending when they are released. We offer practical assistance with accommodation including home removals and employment and motivate offenders to pursue their goals on release from custody.