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High Sheriff finds out about rehabilitative work

10 February 2016

Kentís High Sheriff, William Alexander, has been finding out first-hand how we work with service users to turn their lives around on a recent visit.

Mr Alexander visited Haysden Country Park in Tonbridge where the Community Payback team were removing shrubs and creating a new natural wildlife habitat from piles of twigs, branches and foliage. 

The project at Haysden Country Park is a partnership between Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council. 

William Alexander said: “The service users at Haysden Country Park were all extremely proud of the work they had done and quite rightly so. The wonderful thing about Community Payback is that it uses people's skills and helps them develop new ones, which should enable them to find suitable employment after their orders end, whilst also delivering obvious benefits to the wider community.” 

“This field visit also gave me an opportunity to learn about the extensive work that the probation service does and to understand how all theses initiatives are aimed at reducing reoffending.” 

Mr Alexander visited the Maidstone office later in the day to see other rehabilitative work with service users in practice. He met a service user subject to an unpaid work requirement and a rehabilitation activity requirement. 

The probation supervisor explained to the High Sheriff how she and the service user had worked together to identify his rehabilitative needs. She described how the individual will complete work during his order to improve his thinking skills and go on a programme to increase his victim awareness. 

Heather Hook, Senior Probation Officer, who met with the High Sheriff during his visit said: “The High Sheriff was able to see how our work puts the service user at the heart of their rehabilitation to address the causes that lead to the offence in the first place. In doing this, we are optimistic we can reduce the likelihood of someone reoffending.” 

KSS CRC’s approach to rehabilitation puts the onus on the service user to take the responsibility to change their lives and stop committing crimes. It’s called My Solution Rehabilitation Programme. 

KSS CRC helps people who have been sentenced to a community order through supervision meetings, activities and accredited programmes as well as those ordered to do unpaid work known as Community Payback. It also helps to resettle people back into the community after a prison sentence and supports those who have been released on licence and are serving the rest of their sentence in the community. 

Photo caption: KSS CRC community payback staff, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Rangers and the High Sheriff of Kent at Haysden Country Park

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