Probation service: Together we come ahead
Probation is an alternative to a prison term. It can also be applicable after a prison term. The principle of probation is not one of surveillance; rather it is one of support – for apartment and job searches, the contact with offices and public authorities and – most importantly – for personal reintegration into society.
The Probation Officer
Probation officers are employees of the organisation NEUSTART; during their social education and professional work, they have developed the capability to support men and women in troublesome situations. In the interest of their clients, the – partly volunteer – probation officers are sworn to secrecy. Only after a period of six months and at the end of the attendance, a report is submitted to the responsible court. Probation officers stand by as personal tutors and according to the personal needs of their clients. The probation officers offer trust, stability, and support. Through their presence and personal acceptance, they give physical and social backing; a solid basis for planning and starting a new life.
When Kurt learned after his conviction that a probation officer was appointed to supervise him, he reacted more than sceptically. He had no need for a minder, and so far he had not gained any good experiences with so-called „helpers“. Then, however, Kurt discovered that the probation officer has an unusual understanding of „minding“ someone – namely, to be there, when one needs support.
Success shows that we are on the right track
So far, NEUSTART has supervised around 270 000 clients, 70 % of them kept exempt from punishment (Studie Legalbiografien von NEUSTART Klientinnen und Klienten, Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology, Hofinger/Peschak 2017).