Well, I’m pleased to start with that I haven’t been a person on probation since April 26, 2019. The first time from since I last wore plimsols (or got hit with one by a teacher). My school to prison pipeline didn’t appear to have a light at the end of the tunnel, until, ironically, prison became the light at the end of my tunnel.
It was a journey that I could have, should have, ended a lot sooner and reflection provides me with a lot of hindsight’s. One of which was my relationship with probation. One that began well but one that deteriorated over the years. Familiarity breeds contempt. I must admit, I became the issue. The more I knew the more I challenged, probably every decision, or at least the ones I didn’t agree with, which was usually most decisions, if not all. I became arrogant with a I know best attitude towards my probation practitioners. However, that doesn’t mean I played the game alone.
The worse probation practitioner I felt I had, and also felt so because of how things went with my former practitioner, really made life difficult for me and ruined any chance of a working relationship between us from day one.
I was on remand, and he had come up to see me to complete a pre-sentence report, I knew custody would be his recommendation, which after our talk was the case, he told me he would be recommending custody. It was quite a decent chat and I thought he would be okay, until I received a copy of my pre-sentence report whilst waiting in the court cells. I was nodding in agreement as I was reading until I got to the recommendation section. Without saying anything, my probation practitioner had added he also recommended my sentence be an extended sentence for the protection of the public (EPP as it was known). The judge, fortunately, didn’t agree and I received a determinate sentence. I was, however, recalled back to prison within fourteen days of my release, my fault, and my choice.
A few months into my recall, I had a rethink and wrote to my probation practitioner about parole on my recall. I heard nothing for weeks so wrote again. Nothing, so wrote again. Nothing. A couple of months had passed by this point, so I wrote a complaint to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsmen, which they investigated, my letters had been received, evidenced by reception recording the letters, however, on three separate occasions my letter seem to have disappeared as my practitioner never recalled (excuse the pun) receiving any of my letters and could not be responsible for his non-action. Suffice to say, I stayed in prison until my sentence expiry date and didn’t have to deal with him again.
I did have to deal with probation again but on my last supervision period I did as I was told.