Every probation organisation in Europe is different from the other, although most of them have a lot of similarities. There are some that are different from all the others. I’m talking about the smallest member organisations of the CEP. In this special series of articles, you can read about what makes them special, how they function, about the positives of working in a small organisation and about the difficulties that are sometimes faced. The third probation service in this series is the Malta Probation and Parole Service. Director Miriam Sevasta tells us about her organisation.
The Probation and Parole Service is based on the small island of Malta, near the Italian coast. The probation team exist of only one Director, one Assistant Director (Support Services), one Victim Offender Mediation Coordinator, two Senior Forensic Psychologists, One Victim Liaison Officer, four Senior Probation Officers, eighteen Probation Officers, two Trainee Probation Officers and three Administrative Staff, two Messenger/Drivers and one Security Officer.
Opportunities and disadvantages.
Working in a small organisation creates a lot of great opportunities according to Miriam Sevasta: “The Probation and Parole Departement in Malta still values an individual client approach for all its cases.” Just like in the other organisations that have been part of this series, in Malta they also value the fact that working together is easier when you have a small team of probation officers. “We have the opportunity to really know each other, identify our strengths and weaknesses, address staff wellbeing and offer a more democratic working style.”
The job can come with disadvantages from time to time as well. “Due to our small size, we often do not get enough recognition from respective authorities for our services.”
The essence of the job
Although we came across a lot of differences between small and large probation organisations in this series of articles, the essence of probation work always stays the same. “I do not see any differences between large and small institutions in terms of tasks and functions that the department has to deal with.”