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Lack of closure and info at end of Probation.


Lack of closure and info at end of Probation.

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Saxon
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Having completed a 3-year Community Order for indecent image offences - and completed it well, according to what I have been told - I was anticipating some kind of well, I dunno.. 'closure'. I didn't expect a party or a fanfare or a medal, but I did think there'd be some sort of written debrief or report in hand. Bizarrely, I even lost my regular officer who'd been with me for the 3 years, as she was 'called away' 2 months before I was due to finish, so my final appointment never materialized with her. I was seen by a stand-in who didn't even realize my order was ending - I had to tell her this and at the same time expressed my concerns over a lack of closure and something to show for my time with them. She said lots of stuff about understanding how I feel (as they always do)  and said she'd ask her manager to draft a letter which would be ready before Christmas. I have been in twice since, each time to be told by the smiling receptionist relaying pleasant messages from the stand-in, 'yes it's in hand'. The last time (2 weeks go) I was even told (on behalf of the manager) they'd get it done and sent to my home address that very day. It has not happened. Also, a final meeting I have requested with my former (regular) officer has not yet transpired, it appears her return date gets pushed back a month at a time.
Now, this of course could be attributed to simply busyness (or disfunctionalism if we are to be more disparaging), but as we all know anxiety/mental scarring levels are cosmically high after being digested by the criminal justice as a sex offender, so my concern/paranoia is always that something deeper is going on, thus... 
The last time I saw my regular officer (about 3 months before the end) among the things she said to me in reply to me asking do I need to do any more 'work'? was - I quote exactly - "As for as I'm concerned we have made it" and "You don't have those fantasies anymore" and  "Now I understand children are not your thing, but women are" - in other words dynamite, you would think, from a risk assessment point of view and the path to official rehabilitation. However, would she (or perhaps more particularly her management) be prepared to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and actually make these statements in writing - for the benefit of the court when the time comes for me to apply to remove my SHPO or for the social services (so I can get to spend time with my children again like a normal Dad).
I'm beginning to think not; the cynical part of me after so many knocks and insane safeguarding interventions over the last 3 years (always through absolutely no offence or breach on my part) makes it difficult to trust them one iota. Despite the pleasantries and supportive words spoken in most of my meetings with them and the CPU - I even bumped into my probation officer in a cafe and she warmly invited me to make an appointment after my order - I actually suspect that back-covering is so all-pervasive they would not 'stick their necks out' to give me anything physically/tangibly that I could present to social services or a court, even though they actually believe my risk is low to zero (it's actually zero, but one is completely wasting breath to say this). 
I am beginning to believe I am being stalled, because it's more than a probation managers job's worth to give an ex-offender a copy in their hand stating an opinion of a sentence well-served and risk to children minimal (I realize that officially there is no such as 'no' risk, which I'll refrain from comment on). Some other posts on this forum concerning reluctance of all the official safeguarding bodies to give out any trust leads me to this belief, although evidently there are success stories. Sorry if I've waffled on, but the anxiety is huge as I hope some of you appreciate. This is in the context of 3 years despair, a lot of suicidal (4 if you count - which you ought to - the precharge bail period) losing contact with my two children to all but once every few weeks for 2 hours supervised, and sustained by the hope of light at the end of the tunnel and getting normal contact again once I'd done my bit - but I can't help feeling "doing our bit" in this draconian culture will simply count for nothing. I know that without the best possible report from probation and police, one does not stand a snowball's chance in hell with Britain's social services, probably not anyway, but at least I want the encouragement of knowing I've done my best, all I can to show I am not a risk to anyone, and would like this recognized with a bit more than hot air.
I'm not sure what advice anyone can give, I guess I'm just venting my bitterness and fears, but I wonder what experiences in the way of debriefs and disclosure of information other offenders have had at the end of their community orders/probation periods? Is it standard practice to have absolutely nothing in writing? I did an AIMS assessment at my very last meeting with PPU and the stand-in officer, but I've never been shown a copy of it since, and frankly I'm too afraid to ask despite all verbal accounts that I've done well and knowing in myself I've absolutely nothing to hide, one just becomes utterly paranoid by the safeguarding culture and the way they reason things. Would it be over the top of me to go to a solicitor and get a freedom of information request put on probation? Am I justified in this if they continue to refuse (or 'not get round to') to play ball? I don't want to tarnish what they verbally say is a good outcome, but it so seriously pisses me off the lack of concern for human (family) rights out there, all that matters it seems is finding 'risk' or imagining it if there is none provable.  
It's coming up to 4 months now since I finished, and in another 12 months I'm told (by a solicitor) that it would be feasible to apply to  have my SHPO removed (it was an indefinite one). I suppose I'll only find out when the time comes, whether rehabilitation does what it says on the label even after we've sincerely done our bit.
Edited
7 Months Ago by Saxon
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I can't comment on whether or not you should receive something at the end of the period or not as I haven't been through it (I will be at some stage but I'm only at the very beginning of the journey).

The one thought that comes to mind might be to put in a Subject Access Request for all records about you.  Doing so will (or at least should) start a 30 day clock in which they have to respond under the data protection laws. The response may be your information/data or that they are not going to release some or all information. If it is the latter then they have to give reasons why, where to complain to (ICO) etc.  See https://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/subject-access-request-sar-general-information/ and https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2018/psi-03-2016-dpa-foi-eir.pdf for more info.

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Saxon - 11 Mar 20 5:45 PM
Having completed a 3-year Community Order for indecent image offences - and completed it well, according to what I have been told - I was anticipating some kind of well, I dunno.. 'closure'. I didn't expect a party or a fanfare or a medal, but I did think there'd be some sort of written debrief or report in hand. Bizarrely, I even lost my regular officer who'd been with me for the 3 years, as she was 'called away' 2 months before I was due to finish, so my final appointment never materialized with her. I was seen by a stand-in who didn't even realize my order was ending - I had to tell her this and at the same time expressed my concerns over a lack of closure and something to show for my time with them. She said lots of stuff about understanding how I feel (as they always do)  and said she'd ask her manager to draft a letter which would be ready before Christmas. I have been in twice since, each time to be told by the smiling receptionist relaying pleasant messages from the stand-in, 'yes it's in hand'. The last time (2 weeks go) I was even told (on behalf of the manager) they'd get it done and sent to my home address that very day. It has not happened. Also, a final meeting I have requested with my former (regular) officer has not yet transpired, it appears her return date gets pushed back a month at a time.
Now, this of course could be attributed to simply busyness (or disfunctionalism if we are to be more disparaging), but as we all know anxiety/mental scarring levels are cosmically high after being digested by the criminal justice as a sex offender, so my concern/paranoia is always that something deeper is going on, thus... 
The last time I saw my regular officer (about 3 months before the end) among the things she said to me in reply to me asking do I need to do any more 'work'? was - I quote exactly - "As for as I'm concerned we have made it" and "You don't have those fantasies anymore" and  "Now I understand children are not your thing, but women are" - in other words dynamite, you would think, from a risk assessment point of view and the path to official rehabilitation. However, would she (or perhaps more particularly her management) be prepared to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and actually make these statements in writing - for the benefit of the court when the time comes for me to apply to remove my SHPO or for the social services (so I can get to spend time with my children again like a normal Dad).
I'm beginning to think not; the cynical part of me after so many knocks and insane safeguarding interventions over the last 3 years (always through absolutely no offence or breach on my part) makes it difficult to trust them one iota. Despite the pleasantries and supportive words spoken in most of my meetings with them and the CPU - I even bumped into my probation officer in a cafe and she warmly invited me to make an appointment after my order - I actually suspect that back-covering is so all-pervasive they would not 'stick their necks out' to give me anything physically/tangibly that I could present to social services or a court, even though they actually believe my risk is low to zero (it's actually zero, but one is completely wasting breath to say this). 
I am beginning to believe I am being stalled, because it's more than a probation managers job's worth to give an ex-offender a copy in their hand stating an opinion of a sentence well-served and risk to children minimal (I realize that officially there is no such as 'no' risk, which I'll refrain from comment on). Some other posts on this forum concerning reluctance of all the official safeguarding bodies to give out any trust leads me to this belief, although evidently there are success stories. Sorry if I've waffled on, but the anxiety is huge as I hope some of you appreciate. This is in the context of 3 years despair, a lot of suicidal (4 if you count - which you ought to - the precharge bail period) losing contact with my two children to all but once every few weeks for 2 hours supervised, and sustained by the hope of light at the end of the tunnel and getting normal contact again once I'd done my bit - but I can't help feeling "doing our bit" in this draconian culture will simply count for nothing. I know that without the best possible report from probation and police, one does not stand a snowball's chance in hell with Britain's social services, probably not anyway, but at least I want the encouragement of knowing I've done my best, all I can to show I am not a risk to anyone, and would like this recognized with a bit more than hot air.
I'm not sure what advice anyone can give, I guess I'm just venting my bitterness and fears, but I wonder what experiences in the way of debriefs and disclosure of information other offenders have had at the end of their community orders/probation periods? Is it standard practice to have absolutely nothing in writing? I did an AIMS assessment at my very last meeting with PPU and the stand-in officer, but I've never been shown a copy of it since, and frankly I'm too afraid to ask despite all verbal accounts that I've done well and knowing in myself I've absolutely nothing to hide, one just becomes utterly paranoid by the safeguarding culture and the way they reason things. Would it be over the top of me to go to a solicitor and get a freedom of information request put on probation? Am I justified in this if they continue to refuse (or 'not get round to') to play ball? I don't want to tarnish what they verbally say is a good outcome, but it so seriously pisses me off the lack of concern for human (family) rights out there, all that matters it seems is finding 'risk' or imagining it if there is none provable.  
It's coming up to 4 months now since I finished, and in another 12 months I'm told (by a solicitor) that it would be feasible to apply to  have my SHPO removed (it was an indefinite one). I suppose I'll only find out when the time comes, whether rehabilitation does what it says on the label even after we've sincerely done our bit.

Hi Saxon,
I finished my probation about a year ago. My experience with probation was mostly positive, effective in some ways with signposting to sources of information and organisations, ineffective in other ways in that nobody seems to know what rehabilitation for offenders of this crime looks like.

I too had a feeling of ‘so that’s it then?’ and it does feel odd because it’s something you’ve been used to do doing for a few years and it just stops. But take a moment to feel proud of yourself that you’ve managed to get through the worst part and have made it through to the other end, especially in tough circumstances with regards to your family.

As for having anything in writing, I think we perhaps have to trust that all the positives have been made a note of along with no reoffending, no breaching, no causing trouble etc. and your ppu will be aware of those. When you go to court to have your SHPO varied/discharged I’m assuming your barrister will want to know and be able to prove all of these positives too. Others on the forum have experience of this so they might be able to help with intricate detail of that, but I'd say focus on that closer to the time.

Meanwhile, it might sound silly but try to use the time you would have spent at a probation meeting for something really positive for you. Eg. If your meeting was always Wednesday morning, make sure to go out for a coffee perhaps one Wednesday morning a month (Maybe not the cafe you bumped into your officer at...!). That might help with the closure? You can reflect on conversations, think about ideas for the future or just relax that another hurdle is over with and knowing you've got that bit of time back to do whatever you want with. Just an idea. Good luck.


=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
7 Months Ago by Mr W
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From what I understand, the PPU/probation position is that they will never support an application to remove an SHPO, but, provided they are statisfied there is no risk, they will not object to it being removed. In other words, they want to avoid any backlash. If something bad happens, they understandably want to avoid the blame. That, and the fact that all the public services are overwhelmed with work these days, due to the cuts, probably explains why they don't consider your request a priority. 

If the system works properly, and that's a big if, then all your contacts with them over the last 3 years will be recorded somewhere and the courts will want to know what's been recorded, good or bad, before they make a decision. Of course the usual problems of people not recording things when they should do, leaving their job and handing over to someone who doesn't know you, etc. can still affect that. But most importantly the court will want to know: does anybody object to the SHPO being removed? If not, then the implication is that there is a low level of risk, even if they don't state that explicitly.

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Saxon - 11 Mar 20 5:45 PM
Having completed a 3-year Community Order for indecent image offences - and completed it well, according to what I have been told - I was anticipating some kind of well, I dunno.. 'closure'. I didn't expect a party or a fanfare or a medal, but I did think there'd be some sort of written debrief or report in hand. Bizarrely, I even lost my regular officer who'd been with me for the 3 years, as she was 'called away' 2 months before I was due to finish, so my final appointment never materialized with her. I was seen by a stand-in who didn't even realize my order was ending - I had to tell her this and at the same time expressed my concerns over a lack of closure and something to show for my time with them. She said lots of stuff about understanding how I feel (as they always do)  and said she'd ask her manager to draft a letter which would be ready before Christmas. I have been in twice since, each time to be told by the smiling receptionist relaying pleasant messages from the stand-in, 'yes it's in hand'. The last time (2 weeks go) I was even told (on behalf of the manager) they'd get it done and sent to my home address that very day. It has not happened. Also, a final meeting I have requested with my former (regular) officer has not yet transpired, it appears her return date gets pushed back a month at a time.
Now, this of course could be attributed to simply busyness (or disfunctionalism if we are to be more disparaging), but as we all know anxiety/mental scarring levels are cosmically high after being digested by the criminal justice as a sex offender, so my concern/paranoia is always that something deeper is going on, thus... 
The last time I saw my regular officer (about 3 months before the end) among the things she said to me in reply to me asking do I need to do any more 'work'? was - I quote exactly - "As for as I'm concerned we have made it" and "You don't have those fantasies anymore" and  "Now I understand children are not your thing, but women are" - in other words dynamite, you would think, from a risk assessment point of view and the path to official rehabilitation. However, would she (or perhaps more particularly her management) be prepared to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and actually make these statements in writing - for the benefit of the court when the time comes for me to apply to remove my SHPO or for the social services (so I can get to spend time with my children again like a normal Dad).
I'm beginning to think not; the cynical part of me after so many knocks and insane safeguarding interventions over the last 3 years (always through absolutely no offence or breach on my part) makes it difficult to trust them one iota. Despite the pleasantries and supportive words spoken in most of my meetings with them and the CPU - I even bumped into my probation officer in a cafe and she warmly invited me to make an appointment after my order - I actually suspect that back-covering is so all-pervasive they would not 'stick their necks out' to give me anything physically/tangibly that I could present to social services or a court, even though they actually believe my risk is low to zero (it's actually zero, but one is completely wasting breath to say this). 
I am beginning to believe I am being stalled, because it's more than a probation managers job's worth to give an ex-offender a copy in their hand stating an opinion of a sentence well-served and risk to children minimal (I realize that officially there is no such as 'no' risk, which I'll refrain from comment on). Some other posts on this forum concerning reluctance of all the official safeguarding bodies to give out any trust leads me to this belief, although evidently there are success stories. Sorry if I've waffled on, but the anxiety is huge as I hope some of you appreciate. This is in the context of 3 years despair, a lot of suicidal (4 if you count - which you ought to - the precharge bail period) losing contact with my two children to all but once every few weeks for 2 hours supervised, and sustained by the hope of light at the end of the tunnel and getting normal contact again once I'd done my bit - but I can't help feeling "doing our bit" in this draconian culture will simply count for nothing. I know that without the best possible report from probation and police, one does not stand a snowball's chance in hell with Britain's social services, probably not anyway, but at least I want the encouragement of knowing I've done my best, all I can to show I am not a risk to anyone, and would like this recognized with a bit more than hot air.
I'm not sure what advice anyone can give, I guess I'm just venting my bitterness and fears, but I wonder what experiences in the way of debriefs and disclosure of information other offenders have had at the end of their community orders/probation periods? Is it standard practice to have absolutely nothing in writing? I did an AIMS assessment at my very last meeting with PPU and the stand-in officer, but I've never been shown a copy of it since, and frankly I'm too afraid to ask despite all verbal accounts that I've done well and knowing in myself I've absolutely nothing to hide, one just becomes utterly paranoid by the safeguarding culture and the way they reason things. Would it be over the top of me to go to a solicitor and get a freedom of information request put on probation? Am I justified in this if they continue to refuse (or 'not get round to') to play ball? I don't want to tarnish what they verbally say is a good outcome, but it so seriously pisses me off the lack of concern for human (family) rights out there, all that matters it seems is finding 'risk' or imagining it if there is none provable.  
It's coming up to 4 months now since I finished, and in another 12 months I'm told (by a solicitor) that it would be feasible to apply to  have my SHPO removed (it was an indefinite one). I suppose I'll only find out when the time comes, whether rehabilitation does what it says on the label even after we've sincerely done our bit.

Hi
Please do not think I am being offensive as I do not mean to be, but you seem to mainly want the documents to have some form of self forgiveness and secondly as supportive evidence for your application. 
Self forgiveness will only come from within - learn that you can only give that to yourself.

Having gone through the whole process of 2 yrs on bail, sentence and now under a PPU officer that visits once a year, I can honestly say you should be focusing on yourself. I am not saying forget about the past just learn from it.
Throughout your time in the process you had no control over the events they instigated and today it is the same. Therefore you should learn not to stress over things you cannot control.
It was a lesson I quickly learned. In other posts I have written about how from day one it was accepted I was low risk etc verbally. However events insisted I was assessed for SOTP courses even though an independent pre-sentence psychology report stated I was unsuitable to participate due to not having the tendencies required by the course. Twice the course authorities refused to place me on a course. No "supervising authority" would directly provide me with documentation - some docs did not even get to my solicitor.

I have successfully removed the majority of my SOPO conditions and never once would the PPU / Probation Office provide written supporting documents directly to me. They went to my solicitor / the Judge.
When the Judge asked my old probation officer for a report for their removal he would only write I had the controls to stop my reoffending and the official analysis processes calculated I was low risk, even though verbally he was constantly open about it.  
 
As I have mentioned above and others will, when you apply, the Court will contact the required authorities for their comments. Those comments will be decisive as they are more recent and not an historical document.
Logically you would not want the first report written about you to be the deciding factor as you have changed so the Judge will want a recent analysis - so again it is out of your control.
You solicitor will document the work you have done and present the facts they have available  - so again it is out of your control. 

Waiting a year could be a "false dawn" as your solicitor does not really know. Gain a good relationship with your PPU and therefore understand when they would support your application. 

In the manner my reply started and I will finish, no one will make you suitable to have them removed, you have to do that.
Therefore if you cannot demonstrate that to yourself in your self belief, actions, life skills, interactions with others etc, then the decision makers will not see it.
Good luck and support is always here.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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Hi Saxon I have had a very similar experience to yourself, I hope I can help you regarding your indefinite SHPO.

I was on unrestricted police bail for 18 months before my case was heard and on the day of my trial the Crown Court Judge gave the prosecution a scolding for the delay in bringing the case to court, especially as I had given a full and frank interview in the absence of any legal representation. He acknowledged my life had detrimentally been put on hold. I believe this delay in bringing the case to trial combined with it being a first offence and myself being a person of previous good character swung the sentencing in my favor. I was expecting a custodial sentence but instead received a 3 year Community Order with a requirement to undergo ISOTP, I received an indefinite SHPO and was ordered to sign the SOR for 5 years. 

Despite these difficulties my Probation Officer (a specialist in sexual offenders with over 25 years’ experience) was very helpful and accommodating, I had 1 to 1 sessions to fit around my work schedule and similarly PPU have always been encouraging and non-judgmental. My probation officer discussed his final written report on my case shortly before the end of my Community Order, I am considered medium risk but will revert to being considered high risk when I come off the register, needless to say this professional assessment has been a hard pill for me to swallow as it is not how I see myself after 3 years of treatment. Conversely my most recent ARMS assessment by PPU graded me as low risk.

Like you my regular Probation Officer could not be present a my final meeting with the probation service and on the day his replacement basically said you are free to go and that was that. The feeling of a lack of closure is huge, although my regular Probation Officer always said that in the future if ever I needed to talk about or was experiencing an urge to re-offend that I would be able to walk into any Probation Center in the country, give my details and I would be seen to.

2 years into my Community Order things were going well for me, I was having regular supervised contact with my child both in the home environment and in public without any involvement from CS, support for supervision from both sides of the family was good and all contact was well supported, all above board etc... Myself and child's mother wanted to know what the possibilities were regarding returning to living as a family unit and so a meeting was arranged via the Probation Service to explore this, representation by the local Police force, PPU and CS was requested and 2 weeks advanced notice was given. On the day everybody turned up except, you guessed it... CS! The main sticking point preventing a return to family life was invariably my indefinite SHPO which among other terms stipulated that "named cannot live in the same household as a person under the age of 16 without express approval of social services for the area". This is a common requirement for such offenders and I assume your terms are similar?

During this meeting PPU raised the concern that the indefinite term of my SHPO essentially required me to also annually register as a SO indefinitely; this conflicted with the order given to me at my point of sentencing to sign the SOR for a term of 5 years only. This clash of requirements was put down to a possible error in the courts sentencing due to a transition from using the older discontinued SOPO's to SHPO's. Additionally as a SHPO is an ancillary order your original offence will not become spent until the order finishes or is discharged. With the encouragement of both PPU and my Probation Officer I wrote to the sentencing Crown Court in 2017 to appeal the duration of my SHPO from indefinite to 5 years - in line with my separate order to sign the SOR for 5 years. A couple of months later and PPU contacted me to say that my appeal had been successful and the duration of my SHPO had been updated to 5 years on the PNC. All it took was a single letter on 1 side of a sheet of A4 paper, I never had to use professional legal representation or appear at the court in person for an appeals hearing, although I believe this has recently changed and that all appeals to SHPO's are now being held in open court.

On a separate note, I would strongly advise against involvement with the Family Court, my own experience of this has now led to my complete loss of all contact with my child. Do the best you can to co-operate with CS if they are involved, obey any child protection plans / SHPO terms to the letter and continue to focus on being the best father you can for your children given the restrictive circumstances and let time do the rest. Please accept you will always be considered a risk to children going forward and that you may always have to have supervised contact with your own children until they become adults but that does not mean you cannot be an awesome father for them with the help and support of wider family. I know you have probably already given a million apologies but have a quiet sit down with their mother and let her know how grateful you are for her support in continuing to see your children and that you want to progress things with an appeal to your SHPO and that you are doing so not in an underhand way to unshackle all your restrictions but in the hope that it will make a normal family life in the future far easier.

Like yourself and Mr W I have now completed my Community Order, my SHPO runs for another 3 months as does my requirement to register as a SO, my understanding is at this point my offence will become spent which is somewhat a relief. I struggle daily to see a meaningful future for myself, as a man in his 20's I would like to find a partner who can accept my past "baggage" and give me a second chance to be a better man.

I am to this day deeply ashamed of my offending and feel terrible for my own child and the challenges they will face in the future as a result of my offending. I do not seek forgiveness, I only wish that I had sought help years ago but it is all too late for that. 

All the best Eddy

Edited
3 Months Ago by Eddy
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Eddy - 8 Apr 20 11:52 AM
Hi Saxon I have had a very similar experience to yourself, I hope I can help you regarding your indefinite SHPO.

I was also convicted for making IIOC totalling some ~400 images across all 5 categories. I was on unrestricted police bail for 18 months before my case was heard and on the day of my trial the Crown Court Judge gave the prosecution a scolding for the delay in bringing the case to court, especially as I had given a full and frank interview in the absence of any legal representation. He acknowledged my life had detrimentally been put on hold. I believe this delay in bringing the case to trial combined with it being a first offence and myself being a person of previous good character swung the sentencing in my favor. I was expecting a custodial sentence but instead received a 3 year Community Order with a requirement to undergo ISOTP, I received an indefinite SHPO and was ordered to sign the SOR for 5 years. 

Despite these difficulties my Probation Officer (a specialist in sexual offenders with over 25 years’ experience) was very helpful and accommodating, I had 1 to 1 sessions to fit around my work schedule and similarly PPU have always been encouraging and non-judgmental. My probation officer discussed his final written report on my case shortly before the end of my Community Order, I am considered medium risk but will revert to being considered high risk when I come off the register, needless to say this professional assessment has been a hard pill for me to swallow as it is not how I see myself after 3 years of treatment. Conversely my most recent ARMS assessment by PPU graded me as low risk.

Like you my regular Probation Officer could not be present a my final meeting with the probation service as he was busy with another case involving HMPS and on the day his replacement basically said you are free to go and that was that. The feeling of a lack of closure is huge, although my regular Probation Officer always said that in the future if ever I needed to talk about or was experiencing an urge to re-offend that I would be able to walk into any Probation Center in the country, give my details and I would be seen to.

2 years into my Community Order things were going well for me, I was having regular supervised contact with my child both in the home environment and in public without any involvement from CS, support for supervision from both sides of the family was good and all contact was well supported, all above board etc... Myself and child's mother wanted to know what the possibilities were regarding returning to living as a family unit and so a meeting was arranged via the Probation Service to explore this, representation by the local Police force, PPU and CS was requested and 2 weeks advanced notice was given. On the day everybody turned up except, you guessed it... CS! The main sticking point preventing a return to family life was invariably my indefinite SHPO which among other terms stipulated that "named cannot live in the same household as a person under the age of 16 without express approval of social services for the area". This is a common requirement for such offenders and I assume your terms are similar?

During this meeting PPU raised the concern that the indefinite term of my SHPO essentially required me to also annually register as a SO indefinitely; this conflicted with the order given to me at my point of sentencing to sign the SOR for a term of 5 years only. This clash of requirements was put down to a possible error in the courts sentencing due to a transition from using the older discontinued SOPO's to SHPO's. Additionally as a SHPO is an ancillary order your original offence will not become spent until the order finishes or is discharged. With the encouragement of both PPU and my Probation Officer I wrote to the sentencing Crown Court in 2017 to appeal the duration of my SHPO from indefinite to 5 years - in line with my separate order to sign the SOR for 5 years. A couple of months later and PPU contacted me to say that my appeal had been successful and the duration of my SHPO had been updated to 5 years on the PNC. All it took was a single letter on 1 side of a sheet of A4 paper, I never had to use professional legal representation or appear at the court in person for an appeals hearing, although I believe this has recently changed and that all appeals to SHPO's are now being held in open court.

I still have the letter I sent as my appeal and would be willing to share this with you via PM. I cannot guarantee you any success but I would strongly advise contacting PPU to "test the water" before you make any appeal as they will be contacted by the Court in any case to assess if they support the said appeal.

On a separate note, I would strongly advise against involvement with the Family Court, my own experience of this has now led to my complete loss of all contact with my child.

Do the best you can to co-operate with CS if they are involved, obey any child protection plans / SHPO terms to the letter and continue to focus on being the best father you can for your children given the restrictive circumstances and let time do the rest. Please accept you will always be considered a risk to children going forward and that you may always have to have supervised contact with your own children until they become adults but that does not mean you cannot be an awesome father for them with the help and support of wider family. I know you have probably already given a million apologies but have a quiet sit down with their mother and let her know how grateful you are for her support in continuing to see your children and that you want to progress things with an appeal to your SHPO and that you are doing so not in an underhand way to unshackle all your restrictions but in the hope that it will make a normal family life in the future far easier.

Like yourself and Mr W I have now completed my Community Order, my SHPO runs for another 3 months as does my requirement to register as a SO, my understanding is at this point my offence will become spent which is somewhat a relief. I struggle daily to see a meaningful future for myself, as a man in his 20's I would like to find a partner who can accept my past "baggage" and give me a second chance to be a better man.

I am to this day deeply ashamed of my offending and feel terrible for my own child and the challenges they will face in the future as a result of my offending. I do not seek forgiveness, I only wish that I had sought help years ago but it is all too late for that. 

All the best Eddy

Hi Eddie
I do appreciate the way your words express your feeling of regret for your offence and especially the recognition that victims are varied as often they are not recognized by the media and society.
If I may say you are quite right "not to seek forgiveness" as first you must forgive yourself. Once you have done that then I am sure your family and friends - though maybe not society - will see the character and person you have/will become.

I have attached a self explanitary document I was given to help me in my journey through life. It allows you to review and update it reguarly so you can ideitify the elements of your life that need attention thus once improved, allow you to create a more balance life structure. It also gave me the psychological perspective and provided the confidence in my approach to society.  If you wish for more support with it please ask.

With my scenario, I know the reasons for the journey I have taken in the past both before and after my offence. I know the hurdles and barriers I have faced, challenged and overcome since to make me the better person I am.
Always recognize your mistakes but do not live by them, you do have a future and only have an outlined plan of its journey. You will come to understand the plan will always face crossroads. Your understanding of your true self will improve as it assists your decisions when you come to these crossroads in your journey throughout life.

Only you can ensure it is a memorable and successful journey for your family, friends but importantly you. 

Here if you have any questions.


Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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I felt like this at the end of my community service work after 6 months. I think I was fortunate to do it in a good area, great staff and mostly friendly other people on it. It was like a family, a great laugh sometimes (always had good stories to bring home) and I liked going out to different places each week, meeting different people and doing practical work. It reminded me of school or college which is a lot more fun than my previous job of sitting at a desk in an office. The last day was emotional and I sometimes feel a bit depressed wondering what adventure they are on today, knowing I won't be doing it again or seeing the people I met.

At the end there was a questionnaire/report which was more about your attitude towards your offence which was a shame because I thought it was going to be about my experience there and give me a chance to praise the staff.
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alexh07 - 22 Apr 20 8:54 PM
I felt like this at the end of my community service work after 6 months. I think I was fortunate to do it in a good area, great staff and mostly friendly other people on it. It was like a family, a great laugh sometimes (always had good stories to bring home) and I liked going out to different places each week, meeting different people and doing practical work. It reminded me of school or college which is a lot more fun than my previous job of sitting at a desk in an office. The last day was emotional and I sometimes feel a bit depressed wondering what adventure they are on today, knowing I won't be doing it again or seeing the people I met.

At the end there was a questionnaire/report which was more about your attitude towards your offence which was a shame because I thought it was going to be about my experience there and give me a chance to praise the staff.

Hi alexh07,

There would be more to the questionnaire than is obvious as it looks at you from a  psychology perspective. The whole point of the punishment; no matter what it is, is to allow you to reflect and understand the consequences of your actions. Also it brings in factors such as interaction with others by introduction to strangers so to improve you as a member of society. The fun stories are memories but more importantly a constant reminder of the punishment to stop you repeating the offence.

Not appreciating the purpose of the punishment can be classed as not understanding the offence and the causes bringing you to commit it.

Good luck for your future



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I know what you mean - i just got a letter wishing me all the best...
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