Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Probation aftercare services carries out intervention in Portland Cottage

Published:Thursday | February 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Probation officers from the Clarendon Probation Aftercare Services speak with a resident of Portland Cottage, during a visit to the small fishing community in Clarendon recently.

When Inez Williams' oldest son got into trouble with the law, it was his probation officer who helped him get his life back on track.

She shared that the officer advised him to seek training at the HEART Trust/NTA in May Pen, Clarendon.

"He went, and now he is studying to be an executive chef," said Williams, who is vice-president of the Portland Cottage Citizens' Association, during a recent community walk-through and town hall staged by the Probation Aftercare Services (PAS) in the small fishing community.

The intervention saw several officers from the Clarendon probation office engaging with residents and providing information about the agency's work in monitoring and working with offenders in order to prevent reoffending and keep communities safe.

A number of agencies were also on hand to offer advice and information about their range of services.

These include HEART Trust/NTA, Access Financial Services Limited, National Council on Drug Abuse, Court Management Services, the Independent Commission of Investigations, Child Protection and Family Services Agency, and fire and health services.

Williams, who is also chairperson of the Portland Cottage Primary School Board, says she is grateful for the interest and intervention of the PAS.

"I am happy to see the help that is coming to our community. We are not a high-crime community, and we don't want things to reach that state, not now or in the near future," she pointed out.

"So, I hope and trust that as they speak today, others will get the picture and try to work with them."

The PAS within the Department of Correctional Services deals with persons who have been given community-based sentences. It also provides intervention services for persons at risk of entering the justice system, helping to steer them away from delinquent, unlawful activities.

Support is provided for families facing challenges, including chaotic home life and inadequate parental supervision.