West Yorkshire Probation Trust is one of the UK's top 50 employers according to Stonewall’s Employers 2014 index released today (16 January). The Trust is 45th in the list of Lesbian Gay and Bisexual friendly employers, a rise of 43 places on the 2013 position (88th).
The index measures the extent to which employers meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. West Yorkshire Probation's position puts it alongside organisations like the Home Office, Ernst and Young, IBM and the University of Cambridge.
The Trust is the highest ranked Probation Trust and is the top performing organisation in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Stonewall also recognised the excellent work of West Yorkshire Probation in supporting LGB offenders, new training to support staff to address domestic violence in same sex relationships and a robust approach to addressing the behaviour of those who commit hate crimes.
Alison Fisher Development and Diversity Manager said: “We are proud of this achievement and the commitment of the Trust and all its staff to equality and meeting the needs of LGB colleagues and offenders.
“We are delighted to have improved our performance again this year and to be leading the way in Yorkshire and Humberside. However, we won't stop here and will continue to work hard to ensure we deliver effective support for all staff and offenders, and particularly those with protected characteristics."
Read the full Stonewall Index
West Yorkshire Probation Trust
At any one time, West Yorkshire Probation Trust is responsible for the management of more than 11,000 adult offenders, approximately 5,700 on Community Orders, 2,300 on licence and 3,000 in custody.
We work with offenders in the community and in custody to tackle their offending behaviour and help them address issues that led them to commit crime. We work in partnership with a range of local organisations and are one of the top six Trusts for reducing reoffending - our reoffending rate has declined by 14% since 2005.
Our Victim Services Unit supports the victims of serious crime and domestic violence.
We are an award-winning, innovative Trust which is committed to reducing reoffending and protecting the public. In 2013 we received Investors in People Gold Award, are the only Trust in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index and won three Butler Trust Awards.
All in a Day's Work
Restorative Justice Facilitator
Kate is one of only a few specialists in Restorative Justice in Bradford and she really enjoys her work bringing victims together with offenders to benefit both.
Restorative Justice (RJ) gives victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, to get answers to questions and to possibly receive an apology. Its gives offenders the chance to understand the full affect of what they have done and to do something to repair the harm. Restorative Justice holds offenders to account for what they have done, personally and directly, and helps victims to get on with their lives.
Kate’s days usually includes a combination of:
- Working with probation colleagues to identify offenders who might benefit from the RJ process.
- Assessing the suitability of the offender to take part in the process, as well as undertaking a thorough risk assessment. This usually happens before sentencing so that RJ can be included as a proposal in the Pre Sentence Report compiled by probation staff with recommendations for the Judge or Magistrates. It can also be completed as part of an Offender’s Supervision Plan objectives.
- Re-assessing the offender’s suitability after sentencing when their approach and attitude may have changed
- Working closely with the specialist police officer to get in contact with and visit the victim(s) to talk through the offence and the RJ process and see if they would want to take part
- If they agree, working with the victim to determine how they would like the RJ process to work: a face-to-face meeting with the offender, indirect mediation or a letter of apology
- Facilitating contact between offender and victim as above
- If the victim is not wanting to get involved in any RJ process, Kate will undertake work with the offender by running a mock conference where the offender represents both themself and the victim, swapping seats when they swap roles. This is an innovative way for offenders to consider how the victim of their offence might feel. It is only used when a victim does not want any contact with the offender.
- Working with victim and offender on an outcome agreement – what the victim wants to see the offender do to repair the harm they have caused
- Working with the offender to ensure that they fulfil their outcome agreement and letting the victim know what the offender has done
RJ is now open for any Community Order or Suspended Sentence Order in Bradford.
Responses from offenders and victims are incredibly positive. Victims get to see the offender as a person and not a ‘devil’ or ‘monster’. From the conferences that have been held, most victims want the offender to stop offending and ensure no-one else has to go through what they have experienced. Most offenders going through the process find facing a victim far more difficult than going to court.
Probation Officer - Bradford